NATIONAL

Punjab government on course to meet power target

Combined installed capacity 3920 MW; generation to begin from April next year

Punjab’s dream of becoming self-sufficient in power would become a reality, when three major thermal plants in the private sector, with a combined installed capacity of 3920 MW, start operating and begin generation from April 2013.

This was disclosed by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday after he visited the sites of these power projects that were at advanced stages of completion at Goindwal Sahib, Talwandi Sabo and Rajpura in Tarn Taran, Bathinda and Patiala districts respectively. He said the facilities entailed an investment of Rs. 22,000 crore.

‘Satisfied with progress’

Mr. Badal told reporters that he was satisfied with the progress so far on the power front and the Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not only on the threshold of fulfilling a major promise to the people, but was also heralding a new era of all-round development in the State.

Poll promise

He reminded that the present ruling alliance had come to power in the State in 2007, with a promise to make Punjab surplus in electricity.

According to him, the first unit of the Talwandi Sabo thermal plant would be inaugurated on Baisakhi Day in April 2013. The entire plant, with an installed capacity of 1980 MW and constructed at a cost of Rs. 11,000 crore, would become operational by the end of next year. The project is being set up by the Sterlite Industries of the Vedanta Group, which has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the government for creating additional 660 MW capacity in the plant at a cost of Rs. 3600 crore.

Similarly, the 540 MW Sri Goindwal Sahib Thermal Plant constructed by the GVK group at a cost of Rs. 3000 crore would become operational in May 2013 and 1400 MW Rajpura Thermal Plant being constructed by L&T at a cost of Rs. 8000 crore would start producing power by the end of 2013.

Steps for coal supply

Mr. Badal said that to ensure regular generation, the companies had made arrangements for proper supply of coal. M/s Sterlite had an agreement with the Mahanadi Coal Fields Limited in Sambalpur for annual supply of 7.72 million tonnes of coal at Talwandi Sabo.

The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited and the Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited had been entrusted with the tasks of putting in place infrastructure for evacuation of power.

He directed the power secretary and chairman of the State-owned company Powercom to monitor the progress of the projects on a weekly basis.

Opposed to n-projects

Responding to questions, Mr. Badal said the government was opposed to the setting up of nuclear power projects as it posed threats in a densely-populated State.

He accused the Union government of delaying the clearance to the NTPC to set up a thermal plant at Mukerian in Hoshiarpur district.



Sukhbir Badal sees a new era of all-round development in the State

Reminds people of SAD-BJP’s promise to make Punjab power-surplus


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