Two years after it signed memoranda with several independent power producers (IPPs) to generate 12,500 MW, the state government has stepped in to resolve the issue of land allocation to them.
On Monday, Revenue Minister Narayan Rane and Energy Minister Dilip Walse-Patil assured a smoother land acquisition process after Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh passed directives last month.
In March 2005, the state signed a deal with Reliance Energy Limited (REL) for a 4,000 MW plant. The Tata Power Company (TPC) and Essar too signed MoUs for two 1,500 MW power plants. GMR, Ispat and Jindal each signed deals to put up three 1,000 MW power plants while Spectrum agreed to build a 500 MW capacity plant in the state.
REL and TPC completed all formalities last year and identified land in Shahpur near Alibaug in Raigad district. However, lack of coordination between the revenue and industry departments led to an overlap of 1,000 acres of land that was to be allocated to both the companies.
Last month, Deshmukh ordered that the companies receive land based on their project sizes. Sources close to Rane said he has asked his department to settle the REL-TPC issue in two weeks. The directives also ask REL to relocate its gas-fired facility from the existing site. Both the companies will be allowed to set up coal-based plants.
Jindal is another company that plans to set up a 1,000 MW coal-based plant in Niwadi in Ratnagiri. “The company has got all clearances but doesn’t have land to start work,” said a company official on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media. “The minister has promised to resolve the matter in four days,” he said.
Private participation in power generation is a necessity for the state, which faces a deficit of a staggering 5,500 MW. With each passing year, the deficit is expected to rise by 1,000 MW. Even if half of the IPPs (that have signed memoranda with the state) start generating power in the next four years, the state will benefit from the additional power.