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Home News Power Sector News Supreme Court admits Tata Power plea on Sasan UMPP

Supreme Court admits Tata Power plea on Sasan UMPP

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Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court on 13-07-2011 admitted Tata Power Company's (TPC's) petition challenging the government's decision to allow an Anil Ambani-group firm to divert excess coal from the captive mines meant for the R20,000-crore Sasan ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Madhya Pradesh, for its another power project at Chitrangi in the same state. A Bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi admitted the matter and posted it for final hearing in February 2012.

TPC has alleged that the government decision to allow Reliance Power (RPower) to divert surplus coal from the 3,960 MW Sasan project to the 4,000 MW Chitrangi project is detrimental to public interest. It said there is a difference of R1.26 per unit in the tariff for power generated from Sasan and Chitrangi projects as Reliance is selling power from the latter at R2.45 compared to R1.19 per unit for Sasan.

"The tariff difference will burden the consumer with R25,400 crore for 26 years and is, therefore, wholly detrimental to public interest," Tata said in its affidavit filed earlier before the court. It added that any move to allow Reliance to sell power at a premium would be "arbitrary".

According to the company, the government could have directed RPower to sell power at the same tariff as that for the Sasan UMPP or get it determined under the tariff regulations for thermal power stations.

The bidding process for Sasan UMPP was never meant or intended to vest the successful bidder, RPower, with the right to get extra coal of 9 million tonnes per annum which could be used for developing other power projects, it said, adding the coal ministry's decision to divert "incremental" coal from the captive mines of Sasan had conferred largesse for private gains and windfall profit to Reliance.

However, both the Centre and RPower have rejected Tata's allegations. They have also questioned the locus standi of Tata Power, saying, "The petitioner cannot allege violation of any legal right vis-a-vis the tender process, as it waived its right by not extending the bid."

According to RPower, the government decision is in public interest and is not amenable to judicial review.

Sasan Power (SPL), a special purpose vehicle set up for implementing the Sasan project, alleged that the entire basis of the TPC petition was misconceived as all bidders, including TPC, were aware that there was excess coal in the three mines - Moher, Moher-Amlori Extension and Chatrasal - that could be utilised for other purposes, subject to the government's permission.

Source- Financial Express


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