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‘Bengal power projects on course’

‘Two projects that the ‘navaratna’ National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has  invested in West Bengal will be as per the guidelines of the new Land Acquisition Act and will be in synchronisation with the state government’ said NTPC chairman and managing director Arup Roy Choudhury.

He further said that NTPC is going ahead with the Katwa project in Burdwan district of West Bengal in the existing 556 acres acquired during Left regime plus an additional 150 acres is in finalisation stage. ‘In the Adra project, the land is with the Indian Railways, but the coal linkage is being worked out at this stage. The capacity of both plants will be 1320 MW.

The company is also trying to boost its fuel reserves – which is around 5 billion metric tonnes –but by the end of the five year plan could go upto 35 million tones. The company is importing 16 million tones of coal in this fiscal.
So far as Bengal is concerned the demand for power has been static over the last two years. Roy Chowdhury however sees an upsurge in demand in the last two quarters of the fiscal. ‘With five states going to the hustings soon, there will be an upsurge in demand in the next few months’, he said.

When questioned whether the chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to stay away from land acquisition for industrial projects has affected NTPC’s Bengal projects, the CMD said, ‘We are collaborating with the state Government at every stage. There is a VDAC(Village Development Advisory Committee) comprising the state, villagers, NTPC and land rates will be finalised only after  the state government gives its consent’.

However, acquisition of land as per the new Act will take a bit longer – between 48 and 53 months – as against 36 months required by the earlier Act.
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