PM lays foundation stone of 1500 MW Bawana Power Project

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New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today laid the foundation stone of the 1500 MW Pragati phase III gas-based Power Project in Bawana, here.

The Rs 5195.81 crore project will be commissioned in 2010.

''This project will bridge a major gap in the city's electricity requirement,'' he said at the foundation-laying ceremony.

He added that it will also meet the power required for Delhi to host the Commonwealth Games, 2010.

''I have been assured that our two major public sector organisations BHEL and NTPC will begin work on this project immediately and ensure its completion in time before the Commonwealth Games,'' Dr Singh said.

He stressed that the country needs to widen its energy basket to ensure energy security.

''Our government is committed to further development of nuclear energy both as an environment-friendly source of power and as a means of widening the energy basket available to us,'' he said.

Dr Singh said the country's energy needs are bound to grow and ''We will be failing in our duty to our nation, to posterity, if we do not look ahead and take steps not just for today or tomorrow, but for future generations.'' With the economy growing at eight-nine per cent per annum, and increasing urbanisation and rising prosperity, the demand for electricity is outpacing existing source of supply, he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit said the city will become power surplus by 2010-11.

''We will be able to produce enough power and will even be able supply it to other states,'' she said.

Ms Dixit said this power project, which will be based on gas, is environmental-friendly and will supply the city clean electricity.

Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the government plans to make four metropolitans--Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai--power sufficient.

The government targets to add 80,000 MW in the eleventh five-year plan.

UNI MP SG BD1520

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