Ramesh cold-shoulders power project again

Ramesh cold-shoulders power project again

First he pulled the curtains on two hydro-power projects in Uttarakhand and jettisoned the third one. Now Ramesh has sat on a Gujarat thermal power unit prompting Chief Minister Narendra Modi to seek the Prime Minister’s intervention.

Last month, the UPA government cancelled two hydro projects in Uttrakhand – 480 MW Pala Maneri and 300 MW Bhairoghati – which were to come up in the upper reaches of the Bhagirathi. Ramesh was one of the key members of a group that took the decision.
The fate of the third project – 600 MW Loharinag Pala – is hanging in balance. As one-third of work valued at Rs 600 crore was already done, Ramesh had formed a committee to find out the “technical implications” of these unfinished structures if they are left on the river as it is.

The panel comprising experts from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Central Water Commission, National Thermal Power Corporation and Union environment ministry will be submitting its report to Ramesh within six weeks.

Following Ramesh’s disclosure, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has threatened the Centre to move the court. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, however, has sought Manmohan Singh’s intervention to have the forest clearance for the 1800 MW Wardha Power Company at Nariyara in Chhattishgarh’s Bilaspur district. It will produce power exclusively for Gujarat.

The problem for the Nariyara project is not the power plant but its coal supply line. The unit is to get coal from Margo-II coal block in Chhatishgarh’s Hasdeo coalfields – one of the eco-rich coal-fields in which Ramesh identified clear “no-go” areas.
The Margo II coal block was allocated to Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation by the Raman Singh government for prospecting, subject to the forest clearance by the environment ministry. But Ramesh is sitting on the Modi proposal for months as the block fall in the 35 per cent no-go areas in nine coalfields spanning over six states.
DH News Service

Panel turns down  two projects
The Standing Committee of the National Board of Wild Life chaired by Union Minister for Environment Jairam Ramesh has given the thumbs down to a Dempo unit and an iron ore mine close to wildlife sanctuaries in Goa, reports DHNS from Panaji.
The committee turned down the Dempo group’s project for ductile iron spun pipes close to the Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary and also rejected another proposal to mine iron and manganese ore near the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary.

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