October 23, 2011

Centre committed to Katwa thermal power plant: Shinde

Farakka (West Bengal), Sep 28 (PTI): The Centre today said it is committed to setting up the Katwa thermal power project in West Bengal.

"NTPC will set up a power plant in Katwa. I also announce that we will offer 50 per cent of the capacity to the state," Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said here today.

He was speaking at the inauguration of full-load commercial operation of NTPC''s 500 MW stage III unit at Farraka.

With the addition of 500 MW, the Farraka thermal power plant''s total capacity increased to 2,100 MW.

Shinde''s assurance brought new hope to the power project, which is mired in problems of land acquisition, although he asked the state government to arrange for land and water.

State power minister Manish Gupta, who was also present at the event, said that the government would offer full cooperation and support to Centre’s power projects in the state.

The West Bengal Power Development Corporation is supposed to transfer the 1,320 MW thermal power project to the NTPC which has acquired only 458 acres out of 1,100 acres required for the project.

NTPC Chairman Arup Roy Choudhury also expressed hope, saying the new land policy favours government support of infrastructure projects.

"We are also ready to pay the land owners directly the price the WBPDCL had paid. We need the original land owners'' list from the government," he said.

Gupta called for permission for setting up hydel power projects in the northern part of the country and in Bhutan.

Meanwhile, NTPC is targeting to reduce share of imported coal for Farraka plant to 10 per cent from 20 per cent by increasing domestic coal supply.

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