Miffed with the delay in approval for NTPC's 1,320 Mw power project in Odisha, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to intervene for its quick approval.
The public sector undertaking's board on Monday approved a Rs 97.85 billion investment in the project. NTPC’s ongoing and proposed investment in the state presently stands at more than Rs 240 billion.
“The project has obtained land, water, environmental and other statutory clearances. But being a large project, it requires project clearance by the High-Level Committee (HLC) of the state government. Unfortunately, NTPC is still awaiting approval of the HLC despite applying online for Single Window Clearance on April 19, 2017," Pradhan wrote to Patnaik.
Pradhan pointed out that a lack of requisite clearances for such big-ticket investments even after a lapse of more than 15 months will dampen the investment climate in Odisha and send a wrong signal to the investor community.
The proposed power project by NTPC is expected to make power available to the people of Odisha at a cheaper rate because of easy availability of coal and use of latest technology, the Union minister said in the letter.
He added that the proposed project is critical for the life and economy of the area as the existing power generating units at the site are old and might not be complying with the stringent environmental norms.
The Union minister sought the personal intervention of the chief minister for speedy approval of the project by the HLC.