BJP demands approval of NTPC project

Bhubaneswar: BJP members raised a din in the Assembly Tuesday protesting against non-clearance of the proposed NTPC project at Talcher by the state government and demanding its early approval that forced the Speaker to adjourn the House for an hour.
As soon as the Question Hour started, the BJP members rushed to the well of the House and resorted to noisy protests over non-clearance of the 1320-MW project and demanded its early approval. Unable to conduct the House business, Speaker PK Amat adjourned the proceedings for an hour till 11.30am.
The Central PSU was proposed as an additional state-of-the-art, latest environmental norms compliant power station at the existing location of NTPC in Talcher.
When the House reassembled, BJP legislator and party leader KV Singh Deo said though the application for the project was filed 15 months ago, the state government’s high-level committee (HLC) headed by the Chief Minister was yet to clear it.
“The state government is laying emphasis on investment in the state and the Chief Minister is visiting New Delhi tomorrow for an investors’ meet. But, they are not clearing Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) project,” said Singh Deo. The state may lose a big-ticket investment if the Rs 9875-crore project is not cleared soon, he added.
Similarly, another BJP MLA, Rabi Narayan Naik , said the NTPC project was established when Biju Patnaik was the Chief Minister. But, the present BJD government is not giving clearance for the expansion project that will ensure investment of over Rs 9700 crore, Naik said.
“If the project is approved, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit Talcher September 22, may lay its foundation stone,” he added.

Pradhan writes to CM
Meanwhile, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan also wrote to the Chief Minister in this regard Tuesday.
“The non-clearance of the big-ticket investment even after 15 months will dampen the business climate in Odisha and send a wrong signal to the investors’ community,” Pradhan said in his letter.
Noting that NTPC has a huge presence in the state and its projects, both ongoing and proposed taken together, amounted to Rs 24,000 crore, Pradhan said the state-of-the-art power plant at Talcher has already obtained water, environmental and other statutory clearances.
“The NTPC plant is awaiting approval of the HLC even after applying online for single window clearance in April, last year,” Pradhan stated in his letter.
He said NTPC’s proposed power project 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.