The Telegraph
Tuesday , May 5 , 2015

Rethink plea to RPower

Ranchi, May 4: The Raghubar Das government is back to wooing Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power (RPower) within a week of its pullout from the Tilaiya power project, the state's initial prickly defensiveness at being accused of land delays strictly in the past.

State energy secretary S.K.G. Rahate, directed by chief minister Raghubar Das, today sent a letter to Jharkhand Integrated Power Limited (JIPL), RPower's special purpose vehicle created to implement the Rs 36,000-crore Tilaiya project, in Mumbai, urging them to "reconsider".

This truce letter comes six days after RPower announced on April 28 that its wholly-owned subsidiary JIPL terminated the power purchase agreement (PPA) of its 3,960MW Tilaiya ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Hazaribagh, citing the state's land acquisition delays. On April 30, chief secretary Rajiv Gauba rose to the state's defence, saying the company's balance sheet concerns might have something to do with its exit.

But, Das, who told The Telegraph today that May has been a great month for Jharkhand so far, is perhaps hoping that the month's lucky charm works on RPower too.

"Yes, a letter was sent to JIPL in Mumbai today itself. The project concerns 18 power utilities in 10 states where there is need of power. We have requested JIPL to re-consider. Our government is very serious about expediting the project which started in 2009," Rahate told The Telegraph today.

On alleged land delays, including forestland clearances, he stressed "weekly, fortnightly and monthly meetings" at the level of chief secretary and secretaries of departments were on to hasten the process.

"In the past three months, we put in place a mechanism for all infrastructure projects, including Tilaiya, to hasten land acquisition and forest clearance. Weekly, fortnightly and monthly meetings are held with specific deadlines to resolve each issue. During an April 17 meeting, JIPL authorities from Mumbai were told these facts," Rahate said.

"I personally feel the JIPL took the exit decision in haste. Keeping in view the many stakeholders in this project, the state requests them to re-consider," Rahate said.

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