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Friday, Jan 25, 2002

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Tata Power: Hopeful on Dabhol

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, Jan. 24

TATA Power Company will look at the ``combined efforts'' with Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) for acquiring Dabhol Power Company, after due diligence is completed, according to Mr Adi Engineer, Managing Director.

``GAIL and TPC have worked together in natural gas-related projects for the last 15 to 20 years. We will look at the combined efforts with GAIL post-due diligence,'' Mr Engineer said.

He was optimistic about finding a solution for the Dabhol tangle, but hinted that the time-frame set by the financial institutions might change.

Mr Engineer also expressed concern over the deteriorating condition of the asset. The confidentiality agreement for the project is expected to be signed shortly.

Meanwhile, Enron on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that it was ready to hand over the e-chips and computer drives to anyone who was willing to take full responsibility. The High Court had, at the last hearing, asked DPC to produce the e-chips and drives in court.

Mr P. Chidambaram, appearing for DPC, placed before the court a suitcase ``containing the e-chips and three drives stored in a special vacuum environment''. Mr Chidambaram told the court that the gadgets were in India and will remain here.

The counsel for IDBI told the court that it did not want possession of the gadgets but an undertaking from DPC that they would be safe and the company would be responsible for them.

Mr Chidambaram said the e-chips and drives have always been DPC's responsibility and it would continue to safeguard them.

On the jurisdiction of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), the DPC counsel said the commission could adjudicate matters only in ``aid of regulation'', which is its primary function.

MERC cannot interpret the enabling Act in such a manner as to assume uncanalised powers with regard to referring disputes to arbitration.

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