The Bhopal district administration has urged the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) to put on hold its plan to build a 10 Mega Watt (MW) solar power plant at Jamboree ground here. The district administration claims BHEL had not informed it about the plan and sent a formal communication only five days ago.
The board of directors of the public sector undertaking (PSU) in November had cleared the proposal to build the Rs 54-crore solar plant spread over 50 acres of the 200-acre Jamboree ground. The PSU plans to supply the power generated to its township.
“The district administration has asked the BHEL management to put on hold for some time their 10 MW solar power plant project. Senior state government officials concerned need to be informed about as the solar plant is proposed to be set up on a part of Jamboree ground, which is situated in the heart of the city and is important for several reasons,” district collector Nishant Warvade told HT.
He said BHEL management had never informed the district administration formally about its plan to set up the solar plant. “The district administration received a formal communication from the BHEL management only about five days ago to which I have replied,” added Warvade.
A senior government official, requesting anonymity, said the power plant should not come up at the Jamboree ground. “Usually, a solar power plant is built on non-productive land. In this case, BHEL has proposed to use part of the ground, which is situated at the heart of the city and is used for many important events of the state government. The land is presently with BHEL on a lease of 99 years and the state government has written to Centre several times in the past to get it back,” the official said.
The PSU officials, meanwhile, claim that the district collector neither raised any objection nor asked them to put the project on hold. “The district administration has only asked us to provide the details of the location of the power plant, which will come up at the eastern most side of BHEL near Vivekananda School,” said public relation officer, BHEL, Bhopal, Vinodanand Jha.
The BHEL management has already invited tenders for construction of the boundary wall and the control room of the plant. “The tenders would be finalised in the next 20 to 25 days and the plant would be built next year by April-May,” Jha said.
Meanwhile, president of Youth Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Deepak Gupta accused the BHEL management of “negligence” in handling the affairs of the proposed plant and said “the people of the BHEL township will suffer due to it”.