Land and coal availability challenges for power sector: Tata

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Ratan Tata
Ratan Tata

Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata today called difficulties on land acquisition and coal block auctions as challenges impeding the growth of the power sector in the country.

“The main fuel (for meeting the increasing energy needs) will be coal...there is a question on coal and land auction which will be the concern and has to be addressed later,” Tata said at Tata Power’s annual general meeting here.

The remarks come on the same day as the government tabling the CAG report on coal block auction, said the national exchequer lost up to Rs 1.86 lakh crore on parting with land, rather than auctioning it.

Tata Group companies Tata Steel and Tata Power have been named in the report as among the 25 companies which have got the blocks in various states.

Ratan Tata, who is scheduled to retire towards the end of the year after being at helm for over two decades, said the principle challenges for Tata Power emanate from land acquisition and environmental clearances.

Earlier, Tata said the increasing population and higher standards of living are expected to double the demand for power by 2030.

As we face the task, shortage of domestic coal and expensive gas are among the concerns which need to be sorted out, he said, stressing on the need for policy action to encourage gas-based power projects.

“Availability of energy at affordable rates will be an area of challenge,” he said.

(This article was published on August 17, 2012)
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