LEHARA MOHBBAT (Bathinda), APRIL 14:The Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal today inaugurated the 250 MW Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant (Unit-III) putting in motion the process of doubling the state's own power generation from 4500 MW to over 10,000 MW. The Chief Minister described the inauguration of the unit III of the Lehra Mohabbat plant as "the first of these major ventures to be started by the state government to make Punjab not only fully self sufficient but also to turn it in to power surplus state". It may be recalled that that the last two major ventures for power generation in the state were also launched during the 1997-2002 tenure of Mr. Badal as Chief Minister. While phase I of lehara Mohbbat plant with a generation capacity of 420 MW was commissioned in 1998, the prestigious Ranjit Sagar Dam also became a reality in 1999.
The Chief Minister also disclosed that stage-IV of the Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant (GHTP) would be commissioned in July 2008. With that, the total generation capacity would increase from 420 to 920 MW. The Rs. 2340 crore project would take the state into the next orbit of capacity exploitation.
Mr. Badal further said that the process of adding another 3840 MW of power to the state's capacity would gain further momentum with the setting up of two thermal plants one at Talwandi Sabo (1980 MW) and another at Rajpura (1320 MW) on BOO (Build Own Operate). These units would be operational within next 3 to 4 years. The construction work on Thermal project of 540 MW at Goindwal Sahib was likely to be commissioned soon.
The Chief Minister also revealed that two more thermal plants, one having 3000 MW and other 1000 MW generation capacity are in the pipeline to be setup at Gidderbaha and Mukerian respectively. These could begin generation in the next 4-5 years.
Apart from this, 5175MW additional power would also be made available to Punjab from Mega Power Projects coming up all over India, including Mundra (Gujarat), Sasan (M.P), Orissa, Talliya (Jharkhand) and Cheur (Tamil Nadu) to ensure 24 hour uninterrupted power supply to all categories of power consumers in the state, added Mr. Badal.
Mr. Badal also unveiled the state government's Rs. 1990 crore project for upgradation of transmission and distribution (T&D) system in the state. This would be executed in next 3 years for ensuring reliable power supply, minimizing transmission losses and evacuation of power from new sources.
In addition, Punjab Government had also approved a scheme of Rs.1329 crore for the modernization and upgradation of the existing power T&D system in Ludhiana , Amritsar , Jalandhar, Bathinda, Mohali and Patiala . Special efforts would be made to brought down the T&D losses from 30.82% (during 1999-2000), 23.92% (during 2006-07) upto 15% by the end of 2012.
Referring to the Urban Pattern power supply in rural sector, Mr. Badal said that 14163 villages including Deras/Dhanies had already been provided 24 hours Urban Pattern Supply and Work of remaining 1142 Deras/Dhanies would also be completed by the end of this month.
Addressing on the occasion SAD President and Member Parliament Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal stated that the emphasis on power generation by the SAD-BJP Government was necessitated by the sheer disregard of the sector by the Congress Government. Its importance could be gauged from the fact that it was power alone that touched the lives of each and every individual be it a farmer, industrialist or a farm labourer. He added that the Chief Minister had accorded the highest priority to the power sector and in its very first year, the Government had unfolded its vision before the people which was beginning to take shape already. The ensuing year would be witness to historic milestones in Punjab 's march to attain self-reliance in the power sector. This would help to create the required congenial environment for the State to progress economically in the coming years.
Speaking on the occasion Chairman, PSEB Mr. YS Rattra mentioned that the State of Art Technology had been used in the construction of this Plant. Earlier the land was purchased for one stage only but due to the compact design adopted now the second stage has been accommodated in the same land and no additional land has to be purchased for this stage. Dry Fly Ash Handling System had been so developed that 100% Dry Fly Ash utilization shall take place from day one. For that reason a smaller ash pond in an area of 35 Acres only had been constructed for Stage-II. No additional land has been purchased for Ash Pond and it has been accommodated in the existing plant itself added Mr. Rattra.
Prominent amongst other who were present on the occasion included SAD General Secretary Mr. Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Member Parliament Mrs. Paramjit Kaur Gulshan, Media Advisor to Chief Minister Mr. Harcharn Bains, District SAD President Sikander Singh Maluka and Secretary Irrigation & Power Mr. Suresh Kumar