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We’ve to develop nuclear energy potential: Manmohan

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being presented a plant by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit after he laid the foundation stone for the Gas Power Project at Bawana in New Delhi on Monday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being presented a plant by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit after he laid the foundation stone for the Gas Power Project at Bawana in New Delhi on Monday.

Staff Reporter

We don’t have the luxury of depending on one or two sources

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said his government was committed to further development of nuclear power both as an environment-friendly source and for widening the energy basket.

Laying the foundation stone for a 1,500-MW gas-based power plant at Bawana in Outer Delhi, he said the country needed to develop its nuclear energy potential.

“Our strategy for energy security is a multipronged one. We do not have the luxury of depending on only one or two sources. While some sources of energy may be cheap today, we have to think for the future. Our energy demands are bound to grow.”

With the economy growing at 8-9 per cent per annum, the demand for electricity was outpacing existing sources of supply, Dr. Singh said.

While the government had taken steps to increase coal production and develop hydro-electricity, attention had to be paid to the environmental aspects as well.

“We have to keep in mind environmental concerns and concerns about people displaced by mining and dams. We are blessed with ample solar energy, but it will take some time before we tap this source in large quantity. Hence we must widen our energy basket…”

Dr. Singh said, “We must adopt measures that will increase efficiency of energy being used. These days, it has become fashionable to keep all lights switched on in homes. We must rediscover the value of austerity in the use of scarce energy resources.”

The Prime Minister said Delhi and the National Capital Region were among the fastest growing urban agglomerates in the country and to keep pace with this growth, investment in infrastructure had to be greatly increased.

“Delhi has many pressing needs. We need improved public transport, we need better sanitation and urban upkeep, we need more space for our children to play, for people to walk and homes for all our citizens. I assure you that our government will not rest till Delhi truly becomes one of the world’s best capital cities. We will make Delhi a humane city, a green and clean city, a vibrant city, a city of joy and hope for millions, a city which the entire nation can be proud of.”

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