Environmental clearance for two mega power projects awaited: Tamil Nadu

New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) The central environment and forest ministry is yet to give its nod for two mega thermal power projects in Tamil Nadu despite its own expert committee having given its sanction for the projects, state Power Minister Natham R. Viswanathan said Tuesday.

Speaking at the power ministers conference here, Viswanathan said: "Even though the expert appraisal committee of ministry of environment and forest has recommended environmental clearance for our Udangudi Super Thermal Power Project and Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project, the final clearance is yet to be issued by the ministry."

He requested the union power minister to take up the issue with the environment ministry to expedite the clearances.

The Cheyyur power project is planned for generating 4,000 MW and the Udangudi project will be for 1,320 MW.

Viswanathan expressed his disappointment at the central government's decision to turn down Tamil Nadu's request for financial assistance for transmission infrastructure for wind energy from the National Clean Energy Fund.

Stressing that the transmission charge per unit of wind or solar energy is four or five times higher than the conventional power, he urged the central government to reconsider its stand.

He said the state power utility has sent a proposal to the central government for assistance under National Electricity Fund for strengthening the sub-transmission and distribution works at an outlay of Rs.634 crore.

Pointing out the inadequate power transmission infrastructure between the southern region and the rest of India, Viswanathan urged the central government to ensure completion of Sholapur-Raichur transmission lines.

Expressing concern at the delay in execution of power projects in the state by equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), Viswanathan urged the union power ministry to take up the matter with the ministry of heavy industry.

Viswanathan said the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (TANGEDCO) has completed its financial restructuring with the state government agreeing to take over 50 percent of the restructured bank loans.


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