The issues over procurement of land that have delayed the implementation of CESC’s Haldia power project have now been resolved and, according to sources, all of the land required for the greenfield project is now with the company.
CESC intends to set up a 2,000-Mw thermal power plant, to be undertaken in two phases, at Haldia and, as per the company website, the first 600Mw of generation capacity is expected to be commissioned in 2012.
The project, however, has been mired in problems related to acquisition of all the required land. For over a year now, CESC has been unable to proceed with the construction of the project at full-throttle because a vital piece of land was not in possession of the firm.
In April, CESC vice-chairman Sanjiv Goenka had said that land acquisition at Haldia was a problem. “We have made substantial progress but a key parcel of land is not with us yet. If things move properly, this project should be completed in another 38 months,” Goenka had said.
Of the 320 acres that is initially required for the project at Haldia, the majority of the land had been acquired without glitches. It is understood that the acquisition of a small, but vital, plot was being elusive and had led to substantial delays.
But sources have now indicated that, with the intervention of the West Bengal government, the acquisition roadblocks have been resolved, which means that CESC will now go ahead with the project in the power-deficient state.
“All problems at Haldia have been sorted out,” the source said.
Incidentally, the political regime change at Haldia, once seen as West Bengal’s poster industrial township, has created a situation of flux that is adversely affected many industries based out of the port town.
CESC, the flagship of Kolkata-based RPG Group, earlier this year had said that it would look at adding 5,000 MW of thermal generation capacity in the next few years with a total investment of about Rs 20,000 crore.
As a part of this, the firm had said that it would like to commission two greenfield projects in eastern India by 2013, which is likely to include the Haldia thermal generation unit.