Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel Thursday laid the foundation stone of the eighth and the biggest unit of state-owned Wanakbori thermal power station in Kheda district, with an investment of Rs 4,465 crore and power generation capacity of 800 MW.
Patel accused the erstwhile UPA government of causing a six- year delay in giving necessary clearances to this power project.
“We had sent an application to Government of India in 2009 for this project. Had timely environmental clearance been given, we would have been commissioning the unit today,” said Patel about the Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited-owned project that is expected to be completed by 2018-19.
“When the project is completed, it will a BJP government that will come here to inaugurate it,” Patel added, sending a message to her political rivals that BJP will return to power in 2017 when the next state assembly elections are due.
The project also marks a first in the history of GSECL (that was created as a entity responsible for power generation after the Gujarat Electricity Board or GEB was unbundled) for setting up a super critical thermal power project that will have less emission, low heating and lesser fuel consumption.
“Today there are seven units of 210 MW each at this power plant. This unit will add another 800 MW and it will consume 25 percent less coal than the other seven units and will bring down the cost of power generation from Rs 3 per unit to Rs 2.40 per unit,” said Energy Minister Saurabh Patel.
Once ready this 800 MW is expected to add to Gujarat’s existing quota of surplus power. “We currently have a power generation capacity of 24,000 MW and our peak demand is only 14,000 MW,” Patel added.
Stressing on how the Modi govermment in Delhi has aided the power sector in Gujarat by allotting a coal mine to the state-run power utility at Gare Palma, Sector 1, in Chhattisgarh, Patel said the prime minister has allocated an entire coal mine in Chattisgargh to satiate the coal needs of Gujarat and this particular mine has a capacity to supply fuel to generate 8,000 MW for 35 years.
“We are currently undertaking geological survey of this mine and once production begins Gujarat will never be short of coal,” he added.
Saurabh Patel also said that Gujarat government spends a phenomenal Rs 4,000 crore as power subsidy for the farmers in the state.
Radial gates for Sardar Sarovar Dam
Chief Minister Anandiben Patel who largely attacked the Congress party in her speech, said that her government will finish installing the radial gates on the Sardar Sarovar dam by June 2017.
This will help take Narmada waters to more areas in the state, she added.