Congress to oppose closure of Bathinda thermal plant

August 23rd, 2011 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Aug 23 (IANS) The Congress in Punjab will oppose a move by the state’s Parkash Singh Badal government to shut down the Bathinda thermal plant, former Punjab chief minister and state Congress president Amarinder Singh Tuesday.

The Punjab government recently announced that the thermal plant would be closed as it was polluting the air in Bathinda district. The area in south-west Punjab has growing incidence of cancer and other ailments among people, it said.

While maintaining that the Congress was equally concerned about the public health, Amarinder said that closure was not the solution as the state was already short of power and that such a move would lead to further shortage of electricity.

Amarinder alleged in a statement that the decision was prompted by the sole motive of the Badal family to grab prime land in Bathinda city to make money.

He expressed surprise that instead of taking proper measures to prevent pollution, the Akali Dal government has decided to shut down the plant. He said that other thermal plants were operating in Punjab without causing pollution.

The former chief minister also disputed the government claims that the thermal plant has outlived its life.

He said, during his tenure from 2002 to 2007, the government had renovated and refurbished the Bathinda and Lehra Mohabbat thermal plants and enhanced their generation capacity at great expense.

He maintained that these plants could run for another 20 years and, therefore, must not be closed at this stage.

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