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Chief secy nod to two thermal projects

Ranchi, Dec. 18: The power sector in the state received a shot in the arm today, with a high-level committee headed by the chief secretary giving its nod to two private firms to set up greenfield power projects with cumulative generation capacity of about 2,900MW.

The first plant has been proposed to be set up by Jindal Steel & Power Limited’s sister concern Gagan Power Limited. The company aims to set up either a 1,320MW or a 1,600MW power plant in Dumka, Santhal Pargana commissionary area.

The second is proposed by Adhunik Group in Seraikela-Kharsawan district’s Kandra where the company aims to set up new 1,320 (660x2) MW power plants near the existing plant where the firm is already in the process of setting up a 1,080 (270x4) MW power project. Adhunik has recently commissioned the first unit of 270MW in Kandra, which chief minister Arjun Munda inaugurated in October.

A committee headed by chief secretary S.K. Choudhary in the afternoon reviewed the proposals for the MoU and gave its nod. Principal secretary of state energy department Vimal Kirti Singh also attended the meeting.

Now, the in-principle nod by the committee would require the formal vetting from the state government and chief minister Arjun Munda, who is expected to be back to Ranchi either on December 19 or 20 from the US where he went for the treatment of his sons.

Highly placed state government sources said once MoUs are formally signed, the companies need to scout for land.

That is when the ground realities show their power, pun intended.

Otherwise, the state has made provisions for the other two essentials — water and coal.

The state would ensure water allocation from nearby river basins. Coal block allocations have already been made.

The Jindals have been allotted two coal blocks in Santhal Pargana in Jeetpur and Amarkonda. Adhunik Group has also been allotted a coal block in Latehar.

Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB), meanwhile, declared today that it would put almost all of rural Jharkhand on the power map by March 2013. Of the 32,000 villages, around 50 per cent are electrified so far. “Issue of work orders for 1,241 tenders, earlier approved by the state cabinet, is in progress. Steps are being taken to ensure availability of conductors and electric poles at various sites,” S.N. Verma, JSEB chairman, told The Telegraph at the end of a board meeting.