Jairam Ramesh blames Bharat Heavy Electricals for project delay

August 6th, 2008 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh Wednesday came down heavily on the state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), saying it was responsible for the delay in executing two power generating units in Punjab. BHEL, as the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, is responsible for implementing two 250 MW units at the Guru Hargobind Thermal Power Plant near Bhatinda.

“The delays reflect poorly on BHEL as EPC contractor. The delay has contributed to the substantial power shortages that Punjab is facing,” an official press communiqué quoted Ramesh as saying.

The minister said the project, behind the schedule by nearly 15 months, would be fully operational by October.

“The delays are inexcusable,” said Ramesh in the statement, while putting the onus on BHEL for the slow progress of the project.

Ramesh had recently reviewed the progress of work.

An EPC contractor is required to develop and deliver the keys of a commissioned plant to the owner for an agreed amount, just as a builder hands over the keys of a flat to the purchaser.

The EPC way of executing a project is gaining importance worldwide.

Referring to the delay in power projects like Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh, where BHEL is the EPC contractor, the official statement said: “Public sector rules, regulations and procedures have contributed to this situation and these need to be changed urgently to enable companies like BHEL to function effectively.”

Ramesh also said 1,500 MW of electricity would be supplied to Punjab from the proposed 4,000 MW plant of the public sector power utility NTPC Ltd (formerly National Thermal Power Corp) at Lara in Chhattisgarh.

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