Jharkhand officer resists Adani Power

Jharkhand officer resists Adani Power MoU changes, goes on leave

Ranchi, May 31 (IANS) Jharkhand Energy Secretary S.K. Rahate has proceeded on leave after being pressured to make changes to the terms of an MoU that the state government signed with Adani Power, sources said.

Signed in February, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) relates to a project to set up 1,600 MW thermal power plant in Godda district. The opposition alleged that for this the state government extended special favours to Adani Power by reducing the land price from Rs 1.25 crore per acre to Rs 13 lakh per acre.

The opposition also attacked the Raghubar Das government in the last budget session of the assembly for agreeing to make changes in the terms and conditions of the MoU with Adani Power.

Sources in the energy department said: “Adani Power wanted to make changes in the MoU terms. Energy Secretary Rahate agreed to make some changes, but was not persuaded to make others.”

“The policy says that any company setting up power project has to supply 25 per cent power to the state. The company will provide a part of that at a rate fixed by the regulatory body and another at variable cost,” they said.

Adani Power is seeking to scrap the part at variable cost and also wants that 25 per cent power will be supplied to the state from sources other than the project, they said.

The project is meant primarily to supply electricity to Bangladesh.

Jharkhand agreed to accept 25 per cent power from other sources, but, according to sources, Energy Secretary Rahate was resisting the demand for scrapping the variable cost.

The energy department is under Chief Minister Raghubar Das.

The controversy has cast a shadow over the project in a state where uncertainty mars other big power projects.

Last year, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power terminated the contract for Rs 36,000 crore Tilaiya Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in the state over inordinate delays in land acquisition.

The fate of another 3,960 MW UMPP at Deoghar also hangs in the balance due to land problems.

Jharkhand is facing acute power crisis this year.

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