Hisar, May 19: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today announced that work on the nuclear power plant at Fathebad district in Haryana would start soon and described this as a step towards achieving self- sufficiency in energy.
''A site has been identified in Fatehabad district of Haryana and work for setting up a nuclear power plant there would start at the earliest," Dr Manmohan Singh said addressing a public rally at Barwala near here.
The Prime Minister had earlier laid the foundation stone for the 1200 MW Hisar Thermal Power Plant in Khedar village of the district.
The thermal plant, costing 4297 crore, is to be set up by Reliance Energy Limited (REL) on a turn key basis.
Dr Manmohan Singh spoke about the power shortage facing the country, but expressed himself against free distribution of power.
Observing that power shortage could affect the pace of development, Dr Manmohan Singh said the government would build consenus among States on the broad policy parameters relating to the power development.
This exercise would be undertaken at the conclave of Chief Ministers convened by the government later this month.
The government also plans to meet the shortage of gas used by power plants in the coming three to four years, he said.
The Prime Minister assured adequate supply of gas and coal for the upcoming power in Haryana.
Dr Singh said Haryana would be allocated additional coal mines for the upcoming Jhajjar Power Plant and assured that the government would facilitate the movement of coal by providing special rail facilties to the State. Others who addressed the rally included Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Harayana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Dr Manmohan Singh said Hisar would be developed as a 'magnet town' in the National Capital Region(NCR).
The Prime Minister said the Centre would give assistance to Haryana for setting up a hospital at Karnal in the memory of late astronaut Kalpana Chawala.
The 1200 MW Hisar Power plant would comprise two units of of 600 MW each .The greenfield project is being developed over an area 989 acres. It is the first thermal project in Northern India to get the status of a 'mega power project.' The first unit of the plant would be commissioned in December 2009 and the second in March 2010.
Dr Singh said Haryana will receive 750 MW power of the total power produced by the two plants. Lauding the industrial climate in Harayana, Dr Singh said the State was a dream destination for industrialists. He described Gurgaon was the Corporate Capital of India and an important software center.
The Prime Minister said the thermal project would be a giant leap in meeting the demand and supply gap in the State.
Mr Shinde said Infrastructure was the key to the development of the country, which would help sustain a 9 to 10 per cent growth rate of GDP.
Mr Shinde said the thermal power plant will go a long way to fulfill the 3,300 MW target set in the Eleventh Plan(2007-11) for power generation .
He said the country requires a 10 per cent growth in electricity generation by 2010, which is five times more than the current production.
The Power Minister the State has plans to come up with a number of such plants for fulfilling the rapidly growing requirements of power.
Saying that during the last decades there has been a near stagnancy in power production, Mr Shinde said urgent steps need to be taken to meet this requirement.
Mr Hooda assured employment to one person to each family who have given their land for the upcoming project.