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Home News Power Sector News NTPC to approach centre for revival of Loharinag Pala hydro project

NTPC to approach centre for revival of Loharinag Pala hydro project

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NTPCState-run NPTC will soon approach the government for reconsideration of the decision to scrap the power producer''s 600-MW Loharinag Pala hydro-power project in Uttarakhand. "It was a setback but we are still trying to revive the project, we have not given up... We have made a presentation to the Planning Commission," NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhury told PTI in an interview.

On August 20, a Group of Ministers (GoM) had scrapped the controversial 600-MW Loharinag Pala hydel project on the Bhagirathi river in Uttarakhand, citing religious and environmental concerns.
However, the government has assured NTPC that it would be duly compensated. NTPC sources claim the company invested nearly Rs 700 crore on the project before it was scrapped.
"Hydro power has environmental issues and these are known to everybody. Even NTPC, the country''s largest state-owned hydro power generator, also faces it," Choudhury said.
The project has been hanging fire for the last few years, with the government dithering on a final decision after first suspending work on the project and then allowing the partial resumption of construction activities in light of the huge investment already made on the project.
Two other hydel projects proposed by the state government on the Bhagirathi River -- the 480-MW Pala Maneria and 381-MW Bhairon Ghati hydel plants -- have already been scrapped by the GoM.
A large number of religious leaders have been protesting against the proposed dam, claiming that it will threaten the existence of the river and the block free flow of Ganga, which is considered holy by Hindus.
Choudhury also expressed concern over leaving the project after work has been done, since tunnels and shafts could pose a safety risk. Furthermore, he asserted that it was risky to scrap the project from the environment point of view after substantial work has already been completed.
In such a scenario, completing the project would be desirable, keeping in mind the concerns raised by environmentalists and some religious groups, sources said.
NTPC currently produces over 32,000 MW of electricity from all sources of energy. It is expected to augment its generation capacity to 75,000 MW by 2017.
At present, the company has two hydro power projects -- the 800-MW Koldam (Himachal Pradesh) and 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugad (Uttarakhand) projects -- under construction.

Source- MSN


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