TAMIL NADU

Pondy Power Corporation to step up generation by 100 MW

Pondicherry Oct. 22. The Chief Minister, N. Rangasamy, today said the Pondicherry Power Corporation (a government undertaking) at Karaikal has planned to enhance its generation by 100 mw after expansion of the plant at an estimated cost of Rs. 400 crores.

Mr. Rangasamy said the Pondicherry administration had requested the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to allocate 2.5 lakh cubic metre of gas per day on firm basis to set up a 57 mw plant at a cost of Rs. 180 crores under phase-I. As against the requirement of 4.85 lakh cubic metres of gas per day, the Central Ministry had allocated only 3 lakh cubic metres and that too on fallback basis from Narimanam of Karaikal region.

The Chief Minister, earlier, received a cheque from the Chief Secretary of Pondicherry and Chairman of the Power Corporation, R Padmanabhan, for Rs. 83,44,887 as dividend for the year ended March 31, 2003. The corporation made a net profit of Rs. 8.34 crores. The Managing Director of the Corporation, A. Muthunarayanan, was among those present.

Mr. Padmanabhan said the power corporation was incorporated in 1993 to generate 32.5 mw power through gas and steam turbines at a cost of Rs. 131.29 crores. The corporation began commercial operation in 2000. The plant generated 264.02 million units of power against the target of 235 million units fixed by the Union Power Ministry during 2002-2003.

The Pondicherry Electricity Department had been spending Rs. 300 crores every year on purchase of power to meet the requirements of various sections of consumers in the Union Territory and 200 million units of power were being purchased every year from the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, the Atomic Power plant and the National Thermal Power Corporation.

`Free sarees before Pongal'

The Chief Minister said dhotis and sarees for the poor would be distributed before Pongal.

He told reporters that PONTEX, the apex handloom weavers' society and PONFAB, the export- oriented project of handloom weavers, had been entrusted with the responsibility of manufacturing dhotis and sarees. All along dhotis and sarees were obtained from the government-owned AFT mill.

Mr. Rangasamy said all sections of the poor would be given the garments under the scheme before Pongal and there was no delay in implementation of the scheme as alleged by the Opposition.

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