Patna, Nov 13 (UNI) Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today alleged that the then NDA government at the Centre had laid the foundation stone of Nabinagar thermal power plant in Aurangabad district without completing the required formalities.
Mr Prasad told reporters here that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Railways and NTPC to establish Nabinagar thermal plant in Aurangabad in 1992. A meeting of the Public Investment Board(PIB) was held on February 13, 2004 to assess the availability of water, land and coal for the purpose.
The execution of this mega-project was considerably delayed following the laying of foundation stone without completing the required formalities,the RJD supremo alleged.
''After getting clearance from the Forest and Environment department for the project, it was to be placed before the cabinet committee of economic affairs for approval,'' he said.
The erstwhile NDA government had hurriedly laid the foundation stone of the project on February 18, 2004 without completing these formalities as model code of conduct was to be enforced following announcement of parliamentary elections.
''A joint venture agreement was signed between Railways and Union Energy Ministry on November 6, 2007,'' he said and added the decks had now been cleared for execution of the project.
Mr Prasad said the clearance of forest and environment department was obtained for the project on August 3, 2004 after he became Railway Minister in May that year.
''After an observation from Union Finance Ministry, the stake of Railways was reduced from 51 per cent to 26 per cent, while it was increased to 74 per cent for the NTPC,'' he said adding cabinet sub committee on economic affairs gave the nod for floating of Bhartiya Rail Bijli Company on February 01, this year and it was also incorporated in the Railway budget.