Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kolkata firm meets CM over power plant- Raigad

Kolkata firm meets CM over power plant

Times of India 17 Oct 2008, 0036 hrs IST, Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN

MUMBAI: A high-level team comprising senior officials of Kolkata-based Universal Success Enterprises Group (USEG) led by Prasun Mukherjee made a presentation before chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh over the setting up of a Rs 25,000 crore thermal power plant near Raigad. The on-going agitations in the entire coastal Konkan region over new power projects and acquisition of lands for SEZ projects did not hamper their efforts.

Industries secretary Aziz Khan and his energy counterpart Subrato Ratho confirmed that nominees of the universal group recently called on Deshmukh for setting up a 5,000 MW power plant along the coastline. Immediately after the meeting, Deshmukh set up a three-member committee comprising Ratho, maritime board secretary Sudhir Srivastava and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation chief executive officer Rajiv Jalota to study the proposal. "The committee will study the proposal and is expected to draft new guidelines for setting up industrial units along the coastline,'' a senior official told TOI.

Post Nandigram and Singur violence, the proposal assumes political significance. "It is for the first time that a leading industrial house from Kolkata, having overseas operations, has knocked on the doors of the state chief minister,'' the official said.

USEG vice-president T G Shridhar also confirmed that his organisation members had a prolonged meeting with Deshmukh about setting up a thermal power plant. "We were impressed by his approach. We were given a red carpet welcome,'' Shridhar told TOI.

Elaborating on the project, Shridhar said the project will require 2500 acres of land in the Konkan region. "As we plan to import coal by the sea route, we are looking for locations near the coast. Of course, we will be happy if no social problems occur in the process of acquisition of land,'' Shridhar said.

Major power projects in the Konkan region have been indefinitely delayed owing to the state government's failure to provide land. "All four power projects in the private sector have the approval of the authorities, but as we are unable to provide land, none of these projects were able to take off in a real sense,'' a senior energy department official said.

A senior Congress minister said it was welcome news that entrepreneurs were keen on investing in the Konkan region despite violent agitations.

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