BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Board of Directors of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) approved an investment of `9,785 crore for 1,320 MW Stage-III expansion of its Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS), the public sector undertaking is still awaiting approval of the State Government.
Expressing concern over the delay, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday sought the intervention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for speedy clearance of the expansion work by the high-level clearance committee (HLCC). Ironically, HLCC is headed by the Chief Minister.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, Pradhan said NTPC board gave its approval to the investment proposal on September 10. Though the PSU has obtained land, water, environmental and other statutory clearances, the project is awaiting approval of the high level clearance committee since April 19, 2017. “Lack of requisite clearances for such a big ticket investment even after 15 months will dampen the investment climate in Odisha and send a wrong signal to investor community,” Pradhan said.
The proposed power project by NTPC will make power available to people of the State at a cheaper rate because of easy availability of coal and use of latest technology, he added.
The proposed project is critical for the life and economy of the area as the existing power generating units which are more than 50 years old are on the wrong side of the stringent environmental norms.
“I request you for your personal intervention for speedy approval of the project by HLCC which will send right signals about ease of doing business in the State,” the letter said.
The existing 460 MW power plant of TTPS will be phased out by 2021 and the new one will be set up in the existing campus with super critical technology.