BHUBANESWAR: A day after Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan accused Odisha of delaying NTPC’s proposed power plant in Talcher, the state government has hit back with a counter charge — that the central government is pushing the state, and its consumers, to pay high cost for power.
“The tariff of power intimated by NTPC for the first year of operations is in the range of Rs 3.40 per unit, which is much higher than the Rs 2.70 per unit indicated in the review meeting held by the chief secretary on 28 July 2018,” state power minister Susanta Singh pointed out in a letter to R K Singh, the central minister of state for power, new and renewable energy, on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Pradhan, minister of petroleum and natural gas, had written to Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, suggesting that the state government was sitting over an important approval to NTPC’s Rs 9,785 crore brownfield plant.
BJP members raised the 15-month delay from the state’s high level clearance authority in the assembly on the eve of Patnaik’s investors’ meet in the New Delhi.
In his letter to R K Singh, the Odisha power minister suggested a“win-win solution for NTPC and Odisha” that would facilitate early setting up of the proposed 1320 MW plant.
He said NTPC could commit to evacuate power through the state transmission network, saving the state Power Grid Corporation’s “very high transmission charges” in the range of Rs 0.60 to 0.80 per unit, in the state’s estimate.
In addition, Odisha should also be allocated power from NTPC’s other plants within the state, he said. “Odisha was being allocated power from NTPC’s Barh-I and Barh-II plants (in Bihar) instead of the Kaniha and Talcher plant within the state, costing it Rs 5 more per unit,” Singh said in the letter to the central minister.