Millennium Post

CCI has battled green zealots to okay Rs 1.1-trillion power projects

'CCI is an extremely robust and effective mechanism, we have pushed close to Rs 1,10,000 crore worth of projects through it, these projects were stuck up for some reasons at some point,' Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told reporters here at a conference.

As many as 13 power projects were cleared by CCI in April 2013, freeing up stalled investment of Rs 33,000 crore. CCI which was constituted in January last year cleared 18 power projects with an investment of over Rs 83,000 crore, in August. The Prime Minister headed panel also approved setting up two hydro power projects in Arunachal Pradesh which were stuck due to environment issues.

The environment clearance for UMPPs without linking it with the forest clearance of the linked coal blocks has also been approved by Cabinet Committee on Investment. Thereby paving way for faster implementation of power projects. According to sources, CCI in its last meeting has cleared Reliance Power's Tilaiya ultra mega power project in Jharkhand.

The company, now, may not have to provide non-forest land to compensate for the loss of forest land acquired for the proposed plant. CCI, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, aims to fast-track major projects and help boost investor sentiment.

When asked about the Dabhol power project, Scindia said, 'It occupies a tremendous amount of importance for us because the restructuring has been done a couple of times and we have to see its efficacy in terms of production, the issue here is the issue of gas, all gas beyond 31 MMSCMD (million standard cubic metres per day) will come to us.'

Dabhol power project or Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Ltd is not generating electricity as the main raw material gas is unavailable.

An Empowered Group of Ministers' in August, last year, said any surplus natural gas left after meeting the needs of urea plants would be supplied to fuel-starved electricity generating stations.
At present, the fertiliser sector receives 31 million standard cubic metres per day of gas from domestic production and any additional gas beyond 31 mmscmd will be given to power.
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