Jairam Ramesh angry over delay in NTPC project

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Guwahati, Sep 15 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh today expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in construction of the 750 MW thermal project of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

Speaking on the sidelines of the NE Business Summit, Mr Ramesh said, ''I am surprised that even after the foundation-laying was done by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in January 2006, no progress has been made in two and a half years.

''Only the boundary wall has been constructed so far. I shall be holding a meeting next week with the Assam Power Minister,'' he said.

Meanwhile, the NTPC authorities contended that the project was completely unviable because of the long distance from the source of coal as well as high content of sulphur of Assam coal.

The coal fields of Assam are 700 kms away while those of Ranchi are around 1,200 kms away.

''No progress has been made despite the involvement of the Prime Minister. I believe orders have been placed to the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) as the technology will be based on Fly Gas Desulphurisers,'' Mr Ramesh said.

The project was supposed to be commissioned by 2010 but now it is not expected to be completed before 2015 with the inordinate delay.

UNI MT DPM RN1633

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