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Energy Security
Security board chief for China pipeline
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 29
In a major move to make country energy secure, chairman of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) Mahraj Krishna Rasgotra today called for concerted efforts to develop solar energy in a big way and proposed the idea of building a pipeline from Central Asia through China instead of the pipelines through Iran, Afghanistan and Baluchistan.

In his inaugural address to 6th Petro India 2007 conference, Rasgotra lamented that “very little has been done in the area of solar energy” and said “we should take the lead instead of the US”.

“We should bring in researchers from abroad also and do some solid work”, Rasgotra said adding that India should spend at least $1 billion per year for five years to harness solar energy as an alternative.

Pleading for bigger investments in exploration to increase domestic production considerably, Rasgotra, a former foreign secretary and now president of the Centre for International Affairs of Observer Research Foundation, also asked the conference to consider his idea of building a pipeline from Central Asia through China, instead of the pipelines through Iran, Afghanistan, Baluchistan etc.

Stating that Russia, China and the US are playing a game in natural gas-rich Central Asia region, the former foreign secretary said they were trying to divert natural gas to European side.

In his keynote address, chairman of the Petroleum Gas Regulatory Board Labanyendu Mansingh said unlike in the western countries, the natural gas market in India was not market driven but supply driven. He said the regulator here would have to start from the scratch and expressed hope that the process would evolve soon and the regulator would be able to do justice to the producers as well as the consumers.

Addressing the conference whose theme this year is “India’s changing gas scenario: The new imperatives”, union power secretary Anil Razdan announced that the Krishnapatanam Ultra Mega Power Project, which would run on imported coal, would be awarded tomorrow to Reliance Power whose bid was the lowest.

He reiterated that the government would electrify all villages by 2012 creating a capacity of 78,500 MWs.



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