Companies

NTPC's Nagpur project faces fresh hurdle

| Updated on: Nov 13, 2011

Faces uncertainty over drawing water from Gosikhurd dam

For power major NTPC, setting up the Mouda thermal project near Nagpur is becoming an obstacle race.

The latest hurdle facing the project is uncertainty over water supply from the Gosikhurd dam. As a result, the commissioning of the first unit of 500 MW, planned for June 2012, could get delayed.

Ups and downs

NTPC is setting up the 2,320-MW project using indigenous coal at Mouda village with an estimated investment of about Rs 16,500 crore.

In the last two and half years, the project has seen its ups and downs, affecting the pace of project implementation. It had to face issues like ‘stop work notice' from the District Collector and giving additional compensation to farmers, whose land was acquired for the project.

Drawing Water

The company has an agreement with the Maharashtra Government for drawing water from the dam, which has a design height of 241 meters. Water charges for NTPC have been fixed by the State Government.

Senior company officials told Business Line that a system for drawing water from the dam, if it filled till 239 meters is under construction but the State Government is now saying that it cannot store water in the dam beyond 237 m. If dam authorities fill the dam to the full capacity (241 m) then four villages near the catchment area will get inundated, the official said.

In effect, the plant cannot draw water from the dam unless the system is reconfigured to draw water at 237 meters. Meanwhile, expensive pumps have already been ordered under a tender to draw water from 239 meters, and this mismatch is delaying the project, the official explained.

Shifting villages

The State Government has another solution, in which the four villages are to be shifted to another site and then allowing the water level in the dam to be raised to 241 meters. But the price tag for this exercise would be about Rs 900 crore, which would have to be partially shared by NTPC, the official said.

Confirming the development, a spokesperson of NTPC in an e-mail statement said that discussions are being held with Government of Maharashtra to sort out the issue. To meet the water requirement for the plant commissioning, NTPC is modifying water system pumps and will be able to draw the water from the level of 237.2 meters, the official added.

Without clearly mentioning the commissioning date, the statement added, “There is no delay in commissioning activities of Mouda project and commissioning activities of Unit 1 are going as per schedule.”

>rahulw@thehindu.co.in

Published on November 13, 2011

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