Country to have uninterrupted power supply by 2012: Shinde

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Pune, Sep 21 (UNI) Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today assured the nation that concerted efforts are afoot to supply uninterrupted power and electricity to each and every household by 2012.

Adressing a large audience at the Ganesh Krida Kala Manch of the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium after formally inaugurating the 2007 Pune Festival, Mr Shinde expressed confidence that his ministry would certainly overcome the power crisis in many parts of the country in the next five years.

The former Maharashtra chief minister showered praise on the city MP Suresh Kalmadi, saying he has sustained many hardships and hurdles to keep alive the rich heritage started by late Bal Gangadhar Tilak in celebrating the 'Ganesh Utsav' with great religious fervour and gaiety for the past 19 years.

Mr Shinde said ''It is very easy to make a beginning but to sustain it year after year take not only courage and determination but oragnisation skills and acumen.'' ''Over and above, to generate funds to make the Pune Festival carve out a niche for itself in the foreign countries like South Africa, requires organisation skills and acumen,'' he observed.

''I have known Mr Kalmadi from his early days of being the youth Congress leader and till today, he has the same passion, zeal and enthusiasm in whatever he undertakes. The Pune Festival which showcases the culture of Pune, known as the cultural capital of Maharashtra, is certainly a unique testimony for his vision and far-sightedness,'' he said.

Earlier, Mr Kalmadi who has been heading the Pune Festival for the past 19 years, in his welcome address, paid rich tributes to the popular cine star Hema Malini (MP) for her abiding gesture for performing in the Pune Festival for the past 15 years.

Known for his ready wit and humour, Mr Kalmadi has taken an assurance from Ms Malini to present a unique dance and drama next year, which will mark two decades of the Pune Festival.

Ms Malini who is also the patron of the Pune Festival, readily obliged.

Mr Kalmadi who is also the President of the country's apex body the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), asked the Punekars to strengthen his hands to make the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games, to be held at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports City Mahalunge-Balewadi near here, a resounding success.

The third CYG which has been alloted to Pune, is the maiden games in any Asian country. The games are significant because 71 countries will participate in the event and it would serve as the trial for the 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in New Delhi, the IOA boss said.

The first CYG, which was held in Edinburgh in United Kingdom, had attracted only 15 countries and the second held at Bandigo in Australia in 2004, had participation of 24 countries, Mr Kalmadi added.

UNI

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