Panaji, June 4: Union power minister Sushilkumar Shinde has urged the state to set up its own power generating facilities in the form of two coal-based 250 MW power stations in the state to independently meet its power needs and has promised all help from his ministry as well as other central government agencies at the Centre. These projects could be set up 2-3 years time, he added.
Addressing the gathering after dedicating State Load Dispatching Centre, executed under Unified Load Dispatch and Communication Scheme, and the first phase of the project undertaken under Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme in the North Goa, to the people of the state late this evening, Shinde said that Goa could set up power stations in either of the state’s districts.
The union power minister was replying to the demands for help in various forms, including laying of underground power cable along the coastal belt, extra power to meet the need of the state during peak load period, made earlier by chief minister Pratapsingh Rane, power minister Digamber Kamat and South Goa MP Churchill Alemao.
He further said that the imported coal which has lesser ash content should be used for power plants to avoid pollution, in a state where people are more environment conscious.
The projects would cost Rs 2,000 crore of which the state would have to invest Rs 600 crore in the form of its equity in the projects over a period of four years and that rest of finance would be allotted by Power Finance Corporation with loans raised from other agencies.
Shinde asked the state government to send the request for setting up the plants and soon after receiving it he would depute a team of National Thermal Power Corporation to prepare feasibility report and earmark the areas for setting them up. He declined to accede to the request made by Mr Kamat seeking setting up a power plant under Ultra Mega Project, saying that state did not have 2,000 acres of land required for such projects.
He lauded the efforts made by the state Power Minister in pursuing matters related to Goa’s power requirements and getting them sanctioned from the central authorities. He agreed to provide all help to the state in meeting its power requirements. He also assured to fight with the Union finance ministry to get the dues of the state, following earlier completion of projects undertaken by it.
The union power minister further said that the state leaders should plan for the future and take appropriate steps in that direction to improve power supply, adding that tourism industry, which was growing rapidly every year, would become the mainstay of Goa’s economy and that steps to meet its demand for power should be taken straight away in right earnest. He said that Goa could become the model state in the power sector.
Recalling his past association with the state, which had important place in his heart, Shinde said that he was well acquainted with its geography and its requirement and he would help the state in all possible ways.
He also said that mobile van scheme of the state power department was something which should be implemented in other states, even as he promised more help to the state power department to take the scheme to the rural areas to improve power situation there. He also hailed the state for almost achieving 100 per cent electrification.
He also said that despite generating 1 lakh MW power in the country the country needed an equal amount of power supply to meet its immediate needs and that the central government has already taken steps in that direction. He also said that by the end of 10th Five-Year Plan 36,000 MW energy would be generated and the remaining requirement would be met through advancing the project in the 11th Five-Year Plan.
He said that it was the dream of the President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to reach the annual growth rate of over 10 per cent, which could be met only if we increase the power supply, which was essential for growth of economy. He exhorted people of the country to help the leaders to fulfill their dreams for a brighter future.
Earlier, Rane, Kamat, Alemao and Shantaram Naik, the member of Rajya Sabha from the state also addressed the gathering and made several requests to the Union Power Minister to improve the power situation in the state.
Others who spoke on the occasion included the chairman and managing director of Power Grid Corporation of India, Dr R P Singh and Union Power Secretary, R V Sahi. The state power secretary, U K Wohra proposed a vote of thanks.
State Chief Secretary J P Singh, former Union minister of state for power Ramakant Khalap and mayor of the Corporation of the City of Panaji Tony Rodrigues were present at the gathering, which included officials of the state power department and PGCIL.
Business community was also present on the occasion along with Congress party functionaries. A troupe from Kala Academy also performed on the occasion.