Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal today refuted the allegations that the Centre was planning to shift a mega power equipment production plant at Mannavaram out of Andhra Pradesh, saying it will not be shifted but intensive efforts would be made to improve its business to create more employment opportunities.
"The Mannavaram Power Projects Equipment Manufacturing Plant will not be shifted to any other place and intensive efforts will be made to ensure more business for employment generation," Goyal said, after a review meeting chaired by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu here today.
Naidu convened a meeting with Goyal, Heavy Industries minister Anant Geete, Chairmen and Managing Directors of NTPC, BHEL and other senior officials including those of NTPC, BHEL Power Projects Ltd (NBPPL) which is executing the project.
Recently, Member of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council Yandapalli Srinivasulu Reddy had accused the central government of making moves to shift the Mannavaram project out of Andhra Pradesh and also staged a dharna in association with Left parties.
Also, there were allegations that the Centre was deliberately sidelining the project brought by Congress regime.
"It was also decided in the meeting that a four-member high level committee, chaired by CMD of BHEL, will explore and recommend measures for ensuring sufficient work orders for Mannavaram project, including through diversification of manufacturing activities," Goyal said.
He also said necessary action would also be taken to do away with the condition that makes it mandatory for NBPPL to take prior approval of BHEL to participate in competitive bidding.
Explaining the reasons for lesser than expected performance of Mannavaram project, Goyal said this project was "poorly conceived" and initiated in 2010 without adequate homework and assessment of business environment which led to deferment of Rs 4,800 crore investment in second phase within six months by the then government.
Meanwhile, Naidu said that Coal Ministry has agreed to provide domestic coal linkage from Coal India Limited to the 4,000 MW Pudimadaka Power Project, so as to make available power supply to the people at lower cost.
Goyal also told Naidu that tenders will be opened tomorrow for commissioning of another 125 MW of solar power generation at the 1,000 MW Kadiri Solar Photo Voltaic Power Generation Park in Ananthapuram district.
250 MW of solar power is already being generated here and for the remaining 625 MW, tenders will soon be called, he said.
Naidu also said the New and Renewable Energy Ministry will soon decide in consultation with the Andhra Pradesh government whether the National Renewable University at Ananthapur is to be set up under central law or state law and will take necessary action in this regard.