Chhattisgarh agrees to supply water for Sipat power plant

April 28th, 2008 - 10:09 pm ICT by admin  

Raipur, April 28 (IANS) The Chhattisgarh government has ordered release of water for National Thermal Power Corp’s (NTPC) Sipat project from the Hasdeo irrigation canal that it had stopped earlier after a dispute with the power major over employment to those uprooted by the plant. “The state’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government issued an order Sunday to provide water to the 2,980 MW Sipat plant for a period of three years from the Hasdeo irrigation canal,” a senior official of the state’s water resources department told IANS Monday.

He added: “The decision would facilitate the power major to resume production in the first 500 MW unit of the 2,980 MW Sipat Power Plant in Bilaspur district, 140 km north of here, that was stopped in mid March after a brief trial run.”

The official said the government would provide 120 million cusecs of water to the project and in return the company would pay Rs.720 million annually to the mineral rich Chhattisgarh as water tax.

In the meantime, the Central Water Commission would complete the survey and submit the feasibility report for construction of an anicut on river Mahanadi, about 50 km from Sipat, to help the NTPC get a permanent solution to its water needs.

The state government’s decision to resume water supply came in wake of a meeting here between Chief Minister Raman Singh and union Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh April 20 to find an amicable solution to the water problem and absorbing project oustees in the coal-fired plant.

During the meeting, Ramesh assured Singh that NTPC would certainly absorb at least 500 people out of the 691 families that lost one acre or more land because of the project, though a total of 3,106 families were affected.

The thermal plant, with three units of 660 MW each and two units of 500 MW each, is coming up on 4,300 acres and it will be the country’s first project to operate on super-critical boilers, which burn less fuel to produce the same quantity of electricity compared to conventional boilers.

Once commissioned, the Sipat project is expected to end the decade-old power crisis in several states, particularly the country’s western region covering Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

The first 500 MW Sipat unit was to be commissioned in October last year and the second one of similar capacity in March-April this year. But a row with the state government regarding water supply has put the commissioning process on hold.

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