Tatas give up Chamba power project

SHIMLA: Close on the heels of the state Cabinet giving the go-ahead for the return of two hydro-power projects surrendered by Reliance group, Tatas has now written to the state government expressing its desire to give up the 450-MW Duggar power project in Pangi area of Chamba.

Tatas give up Chamba power project

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 27

Close on the heels of the state Cabinet giving the go-ahead for the return of two hydro-power projects surrendered by Reliance group, Tatas has now written to the state government expressing its desire to give up the 450-MW Duggar power project in Pangi area of Chamba.

Sources said that Tata group has now written to Directorate Energy, expressing its desire to surrender the 450 MW Duggar power project in Pangi area of Chamba district. The project had been allotted to them in 2007-08 and it is after receiving the feasibility study undertaken by its consultants that the Tatas have decided not to proceed with it since they feel it would not be viable.

“They have cited reasons of poor infrastructure and absence of proper road connectivity to the site and also the problem that would be faced subsequently for evacuation of power,” said sources. The state government has, on the other hand, replied to the request by Tatas by stating that the presence of a transmission line of the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) very close to the site in Jammu and Kashmir will help in evacuation of power.

Besides this, the Jindal group, which has been allotted the 250 MW Kutehar power project in Chamba, has also intimated the Energy Directorate that it had put the project on hold for some time though the group has not cited any specific reasons. It is the Jindal group which has purchased the Karcham Wangtoo and Baspa projects owned by JP in Kinnaur some time back.

With the hydro-power sector not really picking up, the pace of new power projects being completed and operationalized has been rather tardy. Despite several incentives being given to woo independent power producers (IPP) to invest in Himachal, the situation is far from satisfactory.

It is on June 24 that the Cabinet in its meeting had agreed to return Rs 85 crore paid as upfront money by Reliance group after it declined to set up the two projects of Purthy (Pangi) 300 MW and Sumte Kothang in Spiti (130 MW). The reasons on which they surrendered the project was declined capacity in case of Purthy and opposition by the locals in case of Sumte Kothang.

Interestingly, despite the state government giving major incentives to power producers to set up projects on the Chenab basin by amending the State Hydro Power Policy, the response has been far from satisfactory.

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