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AUG 24 2015

Glitches prevent UPs Rs 7,000-cr power project from taking off

  • Economic Times, ET Bureau / Hyderabad
  • Created: Mon 24th AUG 2015

The first unit of 500×2 MW Anpara D thermal power project in Uttar Pradesh, commissioned a few months ago, has failed to take off, owing to technical glitches. BHEL, which has erected the plant for UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam, has made some attempts to start the machine but every time due to low workmanship, the machine has tripped, causing heavy losses in the boiler section.

Speaking to FE, a senior official of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) said on condition of anonymity that BHEL is trying to rectify the fault but the fate of the project is still uncertain.

The project, which was envisaged in 2007, took over eight years to be made ready and in the meantime, the cost shot up from Rs 4,000 crore to Rs 7,000 crore. It was the first power project to be commissioned in Uttar Pradesh after about two decades. “The plant’s first unit has not been able to come on load to generate any electricity. This is an unusual phenomenon,” said the official.

In the meantime, the UP Electricity Regulatory Authority has taken serious note of complaints on the issue and has asked the UPRVUN to submit a report on the matter within seven days. According to UPERC sources, the commission may soon take a decision on requesting either the state or central agency to conduct a probe into the matter.

In its letter to A P Mishra, the managing director of UPRVUN, the commission has asked what steps have been taken by it on the lackadaisical work done by BHEL. The commission took cognisance of the matter on a complaint filed by the UP State Power Consumers’ Forum, which had demanded a CBI enquiry into the matter. The Forum has alleged that BHEL is responsible for the delay as well as the mess that the project has found itself in.

“Due to the utter irresponsible attitude of BHEL, the project took eight long years to complete, during which the project cost almost doubled. And even then, the project hasn’t been able to generate power even now. The people of Uttar Pradesh are suffering due to this huge delay for no fault of theirs. There should be a CBI enquiry into this,” said Awdhesh Verma, chairman of UP State Consumers’ Forum. “As per the Tariff order for 2015-16, 2916 million units of power were to be purchased from Anpara D at the rate of Rs 2.96 per unit. The cost of this would have been Rs 864 crore. But since no power is being generated by the project yet, the state is being forced to buy costly power between Rs 4-5 per unit. The repercussion of this will be borne by the people of the state in next year’s power tariff,” he explained.

The project, which was dedicated to the state by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on March 31, was to provide electricity to Bhadohi, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Varanasi districts in eastern UP, which are extremely backward.

Tags

Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd Tariff Thermal Power Project Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd Central Bureau of Investigation Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission Central Agency Power Electricity

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