Rs 8000 cr interest on Rs 21,286 cr spent on SSP
Ahmedabad, May 1: Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) has already paid over Rs 8,000 crore as interests on borrowings out of Rs 21,286 crore spent on Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) on the Narmada till March 31 this year, according to SSNNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Laheri.
Meanwhile, as per the latest SSNNL figures, the cost of SSP has escalated from Rs 6,400 crore as originally envisaged in 1985-86 to Rs 30,000 crore by the time it is completed, thanks to litigations and agitation by anti-dam activists.
When contacted, Mr Laheri told UNI that the company had to borrow over Rs 8,000 crore by way of debts through bonds, loans, agreements and other schemes to meet its expenditure of Rs 21,286 crore so far.
The remaining Rs 13,000 crore has come as budgetary support from Government of Gujarat (GoG) over the last 20 years.
SSNNL, implementing the inter-state multipurpose project, has already paid back almost the same amount on interests as its borrowings for SSP, he said.
As to the cost of the project, he admitted, it has indeed increased manifold from Rs 6,400 crore initially projected in 1985-86 to Rs 13,000 crore estimated in 1990-91, Rs 16,000 crore in 1995-96 and Rs 20,000 crore in 2000-01 at current prices.
Mr Laheri pointed out that Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has permitted SSNNL to raise the height of the dam from 110.64 meters to 121.92 meters on March 8 this year, which is likely to be completed before June.
It would cost another Rs 10,000 crore to complete the project. We expect to complete the project in its totality at an investment of about Rs 30,000 crore by 2007-08, subject to necessary clearance and completion of canals and other works, he said.