After zeroing in on sites for establishment of two more Ultra Mega Power Plants (UMPPs) in the state, the Odisha government is keen to have a detailed assessment of private land needed and people to be displaced by these projects.
"Before a final decision is taken on the matter of UMPPs, you are requested to make an assessment of the extent of private land and the number of persons likely to be affected by the land acquisition in the locations under your jurisdiction and furnish a report to this department immediately”, B S Panda, additional secretary (energy) wrote to the collectors of Bhadrak and Kalahandi.
It has been decided to set up the second UMPP at Bijoypatna in Chandbali tehsil of Bhadrak district and third UMPP at Narla under Kesinga sub-division in Kalahandi district. The sites have been selected after field visits by officials of Power Finance Corporation (PFC), the nodal agency for implementation of UMPPs.
Each of these UMPPs would have a capacity of 4000 MW and are being taken up at a total investment of Rs 60,000 crore.
Meanwhile, the bidding process for the first UMPP proposed at Bhedabahal in Sundergarh district has already begun. This UMPP needs 3100 acres of land and PFC has formed a fully owned subsidiary- Odisha Integrated Power Limited for executing this project. This UMPP would inject 1300 MW to the state grid.
Water for this UMPP has been allocated from the Ib river and check dams and barrages would be put up on the river for this purpose. It may be noted that Meenakshi, Meenakshi-B and Dipside Meenakshi coal blocks have been alloted for the UMPP with a total reserve of 880 million tonnes.
Two other subsidiaries- Sakhigopal Integrated Power Company Ltd and Ghogarpalli Integrated Power Company Ltd have also been formed by PFC for executing the other two UMPPs. The second the third UMPPs would contribute 2000 MW each to the state grid.
The state Chief Secretary B K Patnaik.has advised the PFC officials to set aside ayacut land for UMPPs and ensure that there is minimal displacement from these mega power stations. Moreover, he has stressed that the ash pond for such power plants need to be located far away from areas of human habitations.