Odisha Energy Minister Counters Dharmendra Pradhan’s Letter On Power Project ‘Delay’

**Bhubaneswar:** Two days after Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan wrote to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reporting delay in power projects, Energy Minister Sushant Singh shot back with a letter to the Centre citing Odisha’s readiness and cooperation for these projects.

Government of Odisha has been proactively assisting NTPC in all its projects in Odisha as a result of which NTPC has been able to set up new Thermal Power Plant at Darlipali In Sundargarh District and has also been able to progress on the Duranga Coal Mine Project, Singh stated in a letter to Union Power Minister RK Singh.

Matters relating to land acquisition, forest and environment clearances, water allocation, road and rail communication, ash disposal, power evacuation and other required statutory clearances are also being facilitated by the Government of Odisha, he stated.

“You would be happy to note that the State Project Monitoring Group (SPMG) under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary reviews the progress of such projects every month as a result of which the projects are progressing smoothly with the active cooperation of all arms of the State Government,” the Odisha Minister said.

“However, while the Talcher Thermal Power Project (Stage III – 1 320 MW) project is being facilitated by Govt. of Odisha, it is also desirable that the issues related to the de-allocation of Power from some of the NTPC Plants located outside Odisha and substitution with power allocation from NTPC Power Stations located in the State are also addressed in a time bound manner,” Sushant Singh added.

Sushant Singh raised a couple points over NTPC and sought Cente’s intervention on issues relating to NTPC Talcher Plant.

“The tariff of Power intimated by NTPC for the 1st year of operation is in the range of Rs 3.40 per unit which is much higher than Rs 2.70 per unit,” said Singh.

“NTPC may confirm the evacuation of power from the Talcher Project through State Transmission Network so that Odisha is not subject to payment of very high transmission charges of PGCIL which are likely to be in the range of Rs. 0.60 to Rs. 0.80 per unit when the Plant becomes operational,” he added.

Odisha has been allocated high cost NTPC power from neighbouring States such as Barh-I (418 MW) and Barh -II (166 MW), which is likely to cost more than Rs. 5 per Unit leading to high retail tariff for the consumers of Odisha, said Singh

Odisha has been requesting Ministry of Power for surrender of this high cost power and its swapping with NTPC power from Kaniha and Talcher. “If the above issues are not resolved, Odisha would end up paying higher cost for power from NTPC stations to the extent of Rs. 500 crore per annum for the next 25 years,” he added.

“You would agree that such enormous financial burden amounting to almost Rs.12,000 crore on the power consumers of Odisha can be avoided if Government of India agrees to the suggestions as above. This would be a win-win solution for both NTPC and Odisha and facilitate early setting up of the Talcher Thermal Power Plant (Stage-III),” Singh concluded.

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