CPM seeks white paper on hydropower projects’ sale

SHIMLA: Senior CPM leader Rakesh Singha today sought white paper on the agreement of sale of twin hydropower projects, Karcham-Wangtoo and Baspa-II, by Jaiprakash Power Ventures to JSW Energy of the Jindal Group and declared that the CPM would press the government to take up the liabilities in case the Jindal group did not safeguard the interests of the workers and the locals.

editorial@tribune.com

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 13

Senior CPM leader Rakesh Singha today sought white paper on the agreement of sale of twin hydropower projects, Karcham-Wangtoo and Baspa-II, by Jaiprakash Power Ventures to JSW Energy of the Jindal Group and declared that the CPM would press the government to take up the liabilities in case the Jindal group did not safeguard the interests of the workers and the locals.

“The government has allowed Jaiprakash Power Ventures to sell the 1,000-MW Karcham-Wangtoo and 300-MW Baspa-II projects to JSW Energy of the Jindal group, but the people at large have been kept in dark about the details of the sale agreement,” he said.

He claimed that the sale of the twin power projects had not been done in a transparent manner and the aggrieved parties, which included farmers and locals, had no clue about the details of the agreement and, therefore, the state government should issue white paper on the agreement.

“It is not clear whether the JSW Energy of the Jindal Group would own the liabilities of the Jaypee and in case it refuses to take the liability, the state government will be bound to take the liabilities,” he said.

He said 48 farmers, who had been made landless, should be given land and the farmers whose lands had been acquired should be given adequate compensation.

“Even funds required to be spent under the Local Area Development Authority (LADA) have not been spent in full and a part of the fund is yet to be paid,” he said. “The Jaypee had created its own trust for employees’ provident fund (PF) and there are no clear directions regarding the fate of this fund,” he claimed.

“The locals affected by blasting for excavations of tunnels have not been fully compensated, while compensatory forestry has not taken place in the Baspa project,” he said.

The two projects have combined installed capacity of 1,300 MW, but the company had been generating 1,550 MW from the twin projects during 2013 and 2014 and the Jindal group has acquired the projects for Rs 9,700 crore.

The board of directors of Jaiprakash Power Ventures, a fully owned subsidiary of the Jaypee group, has approved the cent percent transfer of businesses of its operating power plants — Baspa-II (commissioned in 2003) and Karcham Wangtoo plant (commissioned in 2011)— in Kinnaur district.

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