Power panel cancels four projects in state

CM wary of DAE hurdle for Kynshi-II hydro project

SHILLONG: The empowered committee on power has listed four projects for cancellation owing to inordinate delays.
The four projects are the Umduna (57 MW) and the Umjaut (69 MW) hydro power projects, which were to be developed by ETA Star Infrastructure Ltd, Mumbai, and the Narringre thermal project in East Garo Hills (300 MW) and the Captive Thermal Power project at Shallang in West Khasi Hills (60 MW).
The Narringre project was allotted to GC Power Private Limited, Hyderabad, and the one in Shallang to Brijraj Power and Metallics Ltd, Shillong.
The decision will now be put up before the State Cabinet for its consideration.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma after reviewing several power projects during a meeting of the empowered committee here on Thursday said the Power Department had sent notices, including a showcause, to the developer of the hydro projects “but its response was not forthcoming and hence the committee after following due process has considered the cancellation”.
Following the cancellation of the developers, North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited had earlier requested the state government to allot the two projects to it.
The panel while considering the request has asked the corporation to submit a proposal along with its development and business plan within 15 days.
On the other hand, the empowered committee also decided to allot 15 externally aided mini hydel power project below 25 MW to state-owned Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL).
The chief minister also informed that the 40 MW Umtru hydro power project in Ri Bhoi district is on trial and once everything is cleared, it will be formally inaugurated.
With the loss of four projects, the state government is now cautious about the Kynshi hydro project that is facing a hurdle.
It has decided to approach the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) that had earlier expressed reservations against developing stage II of the hydro power project due to presence of uranium deposits in the basin.
“DAE has made an observation that uranium deposits in the basin will submerge if the project is continued and has further indicated that it should be taken up only after uranium mining is done in respect of the deposits in the basin,” Sangma said, adding that based on the clearance from Uranium Corporation of India Limited, the developer invested substantially in the project.
“Our stand is that since no decision has been taken for facilitating uranium mining there, the project should not be stalled,” the chief minister said as he expressed apprehensions about the project not getting environment clearance.
“If the project is developed, the deposits will remain there and it has nothing to do with the project and the project is meant for harnessing the potential of the state,” he added.
The 325-MW Kynshi stage II has been allotted to a private developer and survey and investigation for the project is in an advanced stage.
On the 270-MW Kynshi stage I project, Sangma said, “The detailed project report is complete and land acquisition is under progress.”
However, the developer has gone slow lately and the Power Department has been asked to look into the matter for follow-up action.

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