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Haryana to be considered for nuke power plant: PM

The nuclear power plant would be considered when the country entered the next phase of its nuclear power programme.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 23:01 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday promised to consider a Haryana government request for setting up an atomic power plant and a medical college in the state.

The nuclear power plant, likely to be set up at Kumharia in the Fatehabad district, would be considered when the country entered the next phase of its nuclear power programme, he said.

The promise to consider the setting up of the medical college came in response to a request from Haryana government to establish a facility in the memory of Indian American astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who was born in the state.

Laying the foundation stone for an elevated expressway, 60 km north of the national capital, Manmohan Singh said: "We will examine the possibility of making available additional power to Haryana from power projects in other states.

"As and when we move to the next phase of development of nuclear power, we will consider setting up an atomic power plant."

Manmohan Singh also promised to look at the possibility of establishing a medical college in memory of Chawla, who was born in Haryana's Karnal city, after a pointed request was made in this regard.

"We will also surely consider setting up a medical college named after Kalpana Chawla in collaboration with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)," he said, amidst loud cheers from the gathering of over 10,000 people.

The prime minister was in Panipat to lay the foundation stone for a 10-km stretch of the six-lane highway on National Highway No 1, including an elevated 3.6-km section being built to decongest long distance traffic that passes through the historic city.

He also promised assistance for more infrastructure projects to help Haryana develop as one of India's most advanced states.

"We will provide all possible assistance for the development of Haryana - its cities, towns and villages. We will assist Panchkula so that its infrastructure becomes comparable to that of Chandigarh," he said.

While lauding the agricultural sector in the state, which is one of India's largest food producing regions, Manmohan Singh advocated higher productivity and movement up the value chain.

"It is now time for the state and its people to move to the next stage of development. You will need to diversify away from rice and wheat to horticulture and floriculture so that you have better incomes," he said.

"You need to have more industries which can provide high wage employment. You need new knowledge industries, which can take you to the cutting edge of development. For this, you will need to invest in high-class educational facilities.

"You have an extremely important advantage as the neighbours of Delhi. You should capitalise on it and develop knowledge cities and other centres, which can link their prosperity to the growth of Delhi. Having excellent transport connections with the national capital will certainly help."

Noting that Haryana could make progress in knowledge-related fields in future, Manmohan Singh said assured he would expedite work on extending the Delhi Metro project to Gurgaon, which is Haryana's industrial and IT hub.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Governor AR Kidwai were present at the function.