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Adani’s power project in Chhattisgarh hits a roadblock

12-8-2015(2)A public hearing convened for the Adani group’s proposed 600-megawatt (Mw) power project in Chhattisgarh’s Surguja district has been postponed after dispute over the site finalised for the plant.

The public hearing was scheduled to be held on Wednesday. Surguja Power Pvt Ltd (SPPL), a subsidiary of Adani Mining Private Limited (AMPL), had proposed to set up 4×150-Mw thermal power project based on the coal-washery rejects from the Parsa East and Kete Basan coal blocks that had been allotted to Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (RRVUNL). The latter had assigned Adani for mining, development, and operation of the coal block.

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“The public hearing for Adani’s Surguja power plant has been postponed till further notification,” Devendra Singh, member secretary of Chhattisgarh EnvironmentConservation Board (CECB), told the Business Standard. The district authorities had cited the issue of land on which the project was proposed as the reason for the same, he added.

The SPPL had planned to set up the project within 47.5 hectares of land on the premises of Parsa East and Kete Basan blocks that had been leased out to RRVUNL. “We have raised a strong objection to the site as Adani cannot put up its plant on the land leased out to another company,” Laxmi Chouhan, director of non-governmental organisation (NGO) Sarthak, said. The SPPL would be legally entitled to use the land only if it had taken over the RRVUNL, he added.

Environment activist Alok Shukla said another objection was raised against the company with the authorities that it did not seek people’s consent to finalise the power plant site as underlined in the environment clearance (EC) granted for the mining. “The villagers had mobilised against the company and the fear of strong protest during the hearing was another reason for putting the process on hold,” he added.

According to Surguja district officials, the Adani group had to resolve the issue of land first before the next date for the public hearing was finalised. The company did not respond to an e-mail.

The development had put the Adani’s power project on hold. The estimated 2.25 million tonnes per annum of coal rejects from the blocks will have to be fully utilised in line with the EC guidelines for power generation in a Fluidised Bed Combustion (FBC)-based thermal power plant.

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