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Tata Power shifts project site on environment concerns

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar 

Company Ltd (TPCL) has decided to shift the location of its 2000 Mw coal-based in the state from Naraj in Cuttack district to Begunia in Khurda district.

The shifting was necessitated as the company faced opposition of the state forest and environment department and green activists over locating the plant close to Chandaka wildlife sanctuary.

"has identified a site in the district of Khurda for its coal-based end-use plant of Mandakini A block. is carrying out studies and investigations to finalise the boundary of the proposed site," said P Thakur, general manager of the Odisha project in a letter to the state government recently.

The proposed site, which is split into two plots and adds up to 975 acre, consists of government and Jaganath Temple land having cashew plantations and some private non-irrigated land in Begunia tehsil.

"The advantage of the proposed site is that there is no forest land and no wildlife sanctuary and elephant corridor within the 10 Km range," the company said in the letter.

The state energy department has sought views of Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) and Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (IPICOL) regarding the proposal of the company.

Though the developer had signed an MoU with the state government in September 2006, the project remained a non-starter due to environment clearance issues involved at the earlier project site.

The plant site of Narajmarthapur was only 1.5 km from Chandaka-Dampada wildlife sanctuary and wildlife clearance is mandatory for any project to be located within 10-km radius of a national park or sanctuary.

The delays involved in getting clearance had compelled TPCL to look for an alternative site.

However, since it had already invested more than Rs 150 crore at Naraj, it decided to build a gas-based there and find another location for its coal-fired plant.

In a high level meeting with the state government official in December 2011, it was decided that the company can establish its coal-fired plant in Kendrapada or Nayagarh district.

The company was keen to find another site otherwise it would have to forgo the coal block in the absence of a plan for end-use plant.

First Published: Sun, June 23 2013. 20:54 IST