Lays Foundation Stone of 540 MW Goindwal Sahib Thermal Plant :GOINDWAL SAHIB ( TARNTARAN) OCOTBER 18:Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today virtually sounded a bugle for the next Parliamentary elections and appealed the people to get ready
to oust Congress in order to pave a way for the BJP led National Democratic Alliance government at Centre for seeking justice and equity for the long pending demands of the state be it economic, agriculture, industry, inter-state issues etc. which had been utterly ignored by the Congress for its apathetic attitude prejudicial towards the legitimate rights of the state.
Addressing a massive gathering at a public rally after laying the foundation stone of 540 MW Goindwal Sahib Thermal Plant at a cost of Rs.2700 crore to be executed by M/s GVK Power (Goindwal Sahib) Limited in private sector on Build, Own and Operate (BOO) basis and would be completed by 2012, Mr. Badal said that the people of Punjab had lot of expectations from the UPA government but they were completely dejected due to the step motherly treatment meted out to our state despite the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at the helm of affairs. He cited the example how Punjab was completely ignored in the Centre’s agenda on agriculture. He took a strong exception to the callous attitude of the Centre for adopting discriminatory approach towards Punjab farmers, the Chief Minister said that perhaps it was for the first time in the history of agriculture economy that the Centre had fixed the MSP of paddy below the recommendations of Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP). The Centre’s negative attitude against the farmers was evident when it announced to fix Rs.850 per quintal as MSP for paddy, which was far below Rs.1000/- per quintal recommended by CACP. Mr. Badal also rued Centre’s recent decision to announce a meager bonus of Rs.50 per quintal on paddy and described it as a cruel joke with the farmers. He demanded the Centre should had at least announced a bonus of Rs.300 per quintal on paddy in addition to the existing MSP of Rs.850 per quintal to compensate the farmers for the high input costs incurred by them on diesel, fertilizers and pesticides. He said: "The story of exploitation of our peasantry seems to be unending because GoI is solely authorized to formulate economic policies with regard to agriculture by fixing the MSP and even the prices of diesel, fertilizers and pesticides are also determined by it. He said that the state governments had hardly any role in such policies rather Centre had forcefully imposed on us.
The Chief Minister said that the people of Punjab had already unmasked the real face of Congress and were well aware about its policy of ‘divide and rule’ which it had adopted not only in Centre but in the states too for pursuing its political agenda. Mr. Badal blamed the Congress Party which had ruled at Centre and in states for more than 50 years after the Independence and had miserably failed to provide the basic civic amenities to the common man. He said that our government was committed for the overall development of the state and welfare of its people. He said that SAD-BJP being a party of a common man was sensitized to the basic needs and problems of the people at the grass root level and was committed to serve them with the missionary zeal. He appealed the people to give mandate in the favour of SAD-BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls and announced the candidature of Mr.Rattan Singh Ajnala as SAD’s candidate from the Tarn Taran parliamentary seat to seek re-election.
On the power front, Mr. Badal declared that the work on the other two Thermal Plants at Rajpura (1320 MW) and Gidderbaha (2640 MW) with an installed capacity of 1320 MW and 2640 MW would commence positively by 31st March, 2009 thereby heralding a power revolution in the state after had already credited with pioneering the green revolution in the country. He said that the SAD-BJP government was committed to make Punjab as a power surplus state within next three years. He said that the SAD-BJP government immediately assuming its office accorded the top most priority to strengthen the power sector by augmenting the power generation capacity through setting up four thermal plants of which the construction activity at Talwandi Sabo Thermal Plant (1980 MW) had already began in full swing and with the laying of foundation stone of Goindwal Sahib (540MW) would also go off stream. He said that at present the total power generation capacity in the state was 6609 MW against the peak demand of 7428 MW. He said: "Perhaps it is the biggest ever initiative by in the power sector to usher in power revolution by generating additional capacity of 6480 MWs.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister announced that the drainage wing of state irrigation department would soon commence the work on the widening and construction of embankments of Saki Nallah in Gurdaspur district at a cost of Rs.118 crore. He also announced to provide adequate grant for the laying of cemented roads and the upgradation of infrastructure in the government senior secondary school at Goindwal Sahib\. He also announced to undertake the rehabilitation of work of Upper Bari Doab Canal at the cost of Rs.177 crore and special grant for the provision of safe drinking water through Reverse Osmosis system in the Majha region.
Speaking on the occasion, the Member Parliament and President SAD Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal said that the upcoming thermal plant at Goindwal Sahib would boost the overall development and growth in Majha region and further improve the prospects of Sri Goindwal Sahib to be developed as the industrial hub in the region. He said that our government from day one had focused its attention to make Punjab as the front runner state in the country. He accused the Congress party for blatantly ignoring the development prospects of state as it did not added a single unit during its regime realizing the fact that power was the engine of growth and prosperity. Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal also said that the Punjab government had already undertaken a massive revamp programme of canal network at the cost of Rs.3500 crore to enhance the intake capacity of water by at least 30% to ensure canal irrigation facilities to the farmers at the tail ends.
The SAD President said: "No other state in the country has so far undertaken such massive and wide-ranging development initiative to boost its power generation by 300% in such a short span. And we are determined to put the requisite infrastructure on the ground well before we go back to the people for a mandate in 2012". He mentioned that this was probably the most ambitious and boldest initiative over the past sixty years. He said that with the thermal plants at Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal Sahib were expected to be the harbinger of "Power Revolution" in Punjab, to mark the beginning of a major power generation thrust to make Punjab self-reliant on the energy front which also forms the cornerstone of SAD-BJP Government’s development agenda. Mr. Sukhbir Badal also pointed out that with the setting up of this prestigious project in the Majha belt would now obviously silenced the controversy raised by the Congressmen over the neglect of this region. He added that Congress party bereft of any political agenda for the next lok sabha poll trying to divide Punjab on regional lines by indulging in malicious propaganda accusing the SAD-BJP government for lop-sided development in Majha and Doaba regions as compared to Malwa which has got maximum development projects and schemes.
In his address, Information & Public Relations and Water Supply & Sanitation Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia lambasted at the Congress party for unnecessarily raking up the issue of neglect of Majha and Doaba regions in terms of development in comparison to Malwa. Mr. Majithia dared the Congress leadership and their former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for the gross neglect of these regions. He said that the SAD-BJP Government this year alone had completed infrastructure projects in Majha and Doaba areas to the tune of Rs. 3372 crore where as ambitious projects to the tune of Rs.28661 crore were in pipeline to give a face lift to these two regions. He also asked the Congress leaders especially the former Congress Minister Partap Singh Bajwa who was now an aspirant for Member Parliament in Lok Sabha polls, had their party seriously pursued the development plans in the Majha and Doaba regions then it would have not been wiped out from its so called stronghold in this region during the last assembly elections. It was evident that Congress blatantly ignored the development prospects of Majha and Doaba and paid the price for debacle in the last assembly polls.
Speaking on the occasion, Local Govt. Minister Mr.Manoranjan Kalia said that whenever SAD-BJP government came into power it ushered an era of overall development and cherished the aspirations of people of Punjab. He said that this project in Majha belt would act as the catalyst for the economic growth and would be instrumental in bringing industrialization at a faster pace.
Chairman of the GVK Group Mr. GVK Reddy also spoke on the occasion and evinced keen interest to make huge investment in infrastructure, power and hotels industry.
Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Animal Husbandry Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike, MP & District President SAD Amritsar Rattan Singh Ajnala, Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Mr. Harcharn Bains, MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha, MLA Tarn Taran Harmeet Singh Sandhu, District President SAD Tarn Taran Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke and PSEB Chairman Y.S. Ratra.