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11/23/07
For The Gain of the Many and For the Welfare of the Many-Target to generate 10,000 MW power by the end of 11th Five Year Plan : Chief Minister -MOU to be signed between NTPC and Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam tomorrow on November 22 -NTPC, UP Electricity to set up 1,320MW plant in Allahabad-Terror strikes UP; 14 killed, over 60 hurt in 6 blasts -Jaiswal rushing to Varanasi -Home Ministry sends alerts to all states, UTs -HuJI suspected to be behind serial blasts -Noida land scam: go-ahead for CBI
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For The Gain of the Many and For the Welfare of the Many

Target to generate 10,000 MW power by the end of 11th Five Year Plan : Chief Minister

Lucknow : November 22, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Km. Mayawati has said that improvement in the electricity supply to industries and development was among the top most priorities of the government. The target for power generation in current financial year has been fixed 1250 MW. A target to generate additional power capacity of 10,000 MW has been fixed by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan (year 2012) to solve the power crisis of the state on permanent basis. Addressing the function on the occasion of signing the Memorandum of Understanding for setting up of a new thermal power project of 1320 MW capacity at Meja (Allahabad) between NTPC Ltd. and Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam here today, the Chief Minister attributed the electricity crisis of the state to the previous governments and said that her government was doing its best for increasing power generation in the state. Km. Mayawati said that the signing of MOU between the State Government and NTPC Ltd. for setting up two units of 660 MW each at Meja Allahabad was an important step in the direction of power generation. She hoped that the work of setting up of these units would be completed soon. It may be mentioned that for the first time in the State and the country “Super Critical Boiler” technique is being used for this project. Besides, a unit of 660 MW capacity is also being set up for the first time in the state. Two 1750 MW capacity projects are being set up in the Joint Sector; One with the cooperation of NTPC Ltd. at Meja, Allahabad (the MOU of which was signed today) and another with the BHEL at Obra in Sonebhadra district. Special emphasis is being laid on the power generation in the private sector and capacity of 4600 MW electricity would be set up in this sector. The Roja and Anpara-C are the two projects on which work has been started in private sector. It may be said that the State power generation resources are being overtaxed in the form of the gap of 1500 MW during general hours and 2000-2500 MW less electricity supply during peak hours. Internal resources of the State have the capacity of 2500 MW power generation and 3500 MW is being imported from the Central pool to bridge the gap between demand and supply. A joint enterprise would be set up for Meja Thermal Power Project with NTPC Ltd. under the Companies Act 1956 in the form of Private Limited Company. Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam and NTPC Ltd. would share equal number of nominated directors. The CEO of joint enterprise would be nominated by NTPC Ltd. which would also be responsible for management. The registered and corporate offices of this enterprise would be at Delhi and Allahabad respectively. The speciality of this project would be that State would get 75 per cent of the total power generation of 990 MW. Besides, the NTPC Ltd. would make available 480 MW additional electricity by two other projects through the medium of power purchase agreement. The estimated cost of this project is Rs. 7,200 crore and it is likely to be completed in four years. The Share Capital of Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam and NTPC Ltd. would be 50 per cent each in this joint venture. Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam would invest Rs. 1080 crore in the project. Power generating units of 2240 MW would be set up in Public sector for generating additional power of 10,000 MW in the 11th Five Year Plan which includes Anpara-D in Sonebhadra, Parichha (extension) in Jhansi and Harduaganj (extension) in Aligarh. The Chief Minister said that a power purchase agreement has been signed for four power projects between U.P. Power Corporation Ltd. and NTPC with a view to providing electricity at cheaper rates to the people of the State. She said that purchase agreements were signed for Baadh STPP-II (1320 MW), Baadh STPP-I (1980MW), North Karanpura (1980 MW) and NCTPS, DADRI-II (980 MW), having total capacity of 6260 MW. These projects would be completed during the period of years 2009-10 and 2011-12. With the completion of these projects, about 500 MW electricity would be available at the estimated cost of Rs. 2 or Rs. 2.25 per unit, she added. The officers of U.P. Power Corporation and NTPC Ltd. were present on this occasion. **********

MOU to be signed between NTPC and Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam tomorrow on November 22

Lucknow: November 21, 2007 With a view to bridge the gap between demand and supply of electricity, a memorandum of understanding for setting up 1320 MW Power Project is to be signed in the presence of U.P. Chief Minister Km. Mayawati between NTPC Ltd. and U.P. Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd. at 5, Kalidas Marg, Lucknow tomorrow on November 22, 2007 at 11.30 A.M. The NTPC Ltd. is setting up 2 units of 660 MW each at Meza in Allahabad district.

http://www.business-standard.com/iceworld/storypage.php?leftnm=8&subLeft=2&chklogin=N&autono=305170&tab=r

Friday,Nov 23,2007

EXL eyes UP for setting up ITeS SEZ
Shruti Srivastava / New Delhi/ Lucknow November 23, 2007
Information technology enabled service (ITeS) companies are among many others in the process of acquiring a special economic zone (SEZ) status in Uttar Pradesh.
 
Among the front runners is EXL Services, a leading end-to-end business process outsourcing solution provider.
 
“EXL has plans of starting a world-class EXL ITeS/BPO campus in Noida. For this, it has budgeted for purchasing an SEZ in Noida, spread across 15-25 acres,” Rohit Kapoor, chief operating officer (COO) and co-founder, EXL Services, told Business Standard.
 
“Our plan is to establish a large, state-of-the-art infrastructure,” Kapoor said adding that this placement will help in meeting the business requirements of the company.
 
The company has submitted two applications for acquiring SEZ, one in Hyderabad and the other in Greater Noida. “We have not received any approval and have not been granted any land so far,” he added.
 

Talking about its expansion plan for Uttar Pradesh, Kapoor said EXL has planned a major investment for infrastructure, as it is the core pre-requisite for any BPO business. It also targets to increase its employee strength in the state.

 
 
“Given our current rate of growth and our ambitious plans for expansion, in the next 3–5 years we would triple the number of employees from today. This would generate additional employment opportunities in Noida and its neighbouring regions,” he added.
 
For the records, currently EXL employs about 6000 people out of its Noida facilities. The company is also coming up with its sixth building by early 2008 to accommodate its increased operations.
 

This is also expected to help in creating wealth and entrepreneurial opportunities in the ancillary industries such as transportation.

  To form Rs7,200 crore JV with 70:30 debt-equity mix; parties to contribute Rs1,080 crore each in equity
PTI
Lucknow: NTPC Ltd entered into a joint venture agreement with Uttar Pradesh electricity utility on 22 November to set up a 1,320MW plant in the state, which faces a peak hour shortage of upto 2,500MW a day.
NTPC and Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam (UPRVUNL) would form a joint venture company for the project, estimated to cost Rs7,200 crore.
The 2×660 MW project, to be funded in debt-equity ratio of 70:30, would come up at Meja in Allahabad.
Both the companies would invest Rs 1,080 crore each in the project, which would provide 75% (990 MW) of the power produced to the state.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati said the state seeks to add 10,000MW power in the 11th Five Year plan period.
At present, Uttar Pradesh is facing severe power crisis of 1,500MW during off-peak hours and 2,000-2,500MW during peak hours.
Internal resources of Uttar Pradesh have the capacity of 2,500MW power generation, while 3,500MW is being imported from the central pool to bridge the gap between demand and supply, she added.
The target for additional power generation in the current financial year has been fixed at 1,250MW.
The chief minister added that the signing of the MoU for setting up the two units in Meja was an important step in the direction of achieving self sufficiency and the work on these units would start soon.
She said her government was according top priority to the power sector and initiating concrete steps to achieve self sufficiency in this direction.

 

Reliance to convert food stores in UP into other outlets

NEW DELHI: Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail Ltd is understood to be converting some of the outlets it had taken in Uttar Pradesh for selling fruits and vegetables into other speciality formats after the state government and local traders opposed its plans to sell food items.

The company will also launch its first books, CDs and DVDs store in the National Capital Region in December along with a speciality store for footwear in the capital.

According to sources, RRL is converting 15 properties initially booked for ‘Reliance Fresh’, into outlets for other verticals such as footwear, apparel, jewellery, books and other speciality items. These outlets are mainly located in areas such as Ghaziabad and Noida.

When contacted, company officials declined to comment. Earlier, as part of its winding up operations in Uttar Pradesh, the company is understood to have served lease annulment notices for about 150 properties, which it had rented for its vegetables, fruits and grocery format stores.

The company now plans to utilise some of the outlets that had been taken on lease to open Reliance Fresh stores to showcase other formats like Reliance Digital, Reliance Hyper Mart, Reliance Trends, Reliance Footprints, Reliance Jewels and Reliance Apple.

After announcing the launch of its jewellery store in Bangalore, RRL will open the first speciality outlet each for footwear and books, CDs and DVDs in the NCR next month.

The company had planned to invest around Rs 8,000-10,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh for its retail operations, including about 200 ‘Reliance Fresh’ stores in three years as also the back-end logistics chain. However, in the wake of the state government asking it to shut down the outlets, the company had decided to put the plans on hold.

 

Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Nov 23, 2007
 
Small retail needs State spur

G. CHANDRASHEKHAR

Organised retail has the potential to contribute to the transformation of the country’s moribund agricultural sector. And appropriate policies will help all kinds of customers and big and small retailers, says G. CHANDRASHEKHAR.





Affirmative action from the government can help small businesses to keep the show going.

It is clearly a danger signal that opposition to organised retail is beginning to gather momentum, rather than wane. After several attacks on large food retail stores in different parts of the country some months ago, a feeling, albeit feeble, was gaining ground in recent weeks that frayed tempers were cooling. There was belief that small traders and intermediaries were slowly coming to terms with the reality of large-format organised retail.

However, the series of attacks on stores in Navi Mumbai recently may have put paid to any such hope. Obviously, there is simmering discontent among those who feel hurt. Their concerns have to be considered and remedial measures taken. If left unchecked, the anti-organised-retail movement has the potential to snowball into a major law and order situation. This is not to suggest that protests by genuine stakeholders whose livelihood is threatened should be put down with a heavy hand.

Warning signals

It is one thing to control a law and order situation; and quite another to ignore early warning signals and engage in fire fighting later. There is urgent need to quickly go into the root of the problem and examine ways and means to create a win-win situation for all. The State government has a tremendous responsibility in this. Hopefully, Maharashtra will not take a cue from Uttar Pradesh.

In August, the UP government ordered forced closure of newly set-up large food retail stores in Lucknow following mounting protests from small unorganised retailers and trade intermediaries who perceived the advent of large format grocery stores as a threat to their entrenched interests and livelihood. Always known as a progressive state, Maharashtra should attempt to identify the real issues and address them. The stakeholders in this food chain include farmers, aggregators, processors, distributors, large and small traders as also trade intermediaries such as commission agents, apart from retailers themselves, and consumers.

Biz opportunity

The corporate world has demonstrably seized the burgeoning business opportunity by pouring huge investments to accelerate the pace of the retail revolution currently sweeping the country. Those with higher disposable incomes are demanding an ‘international shopping experience’ and the retailers are merely meeting the demand by investing in malls and supermarkets.

In the process, such investors help create employment, improve the supply chain, improve the marketability of farmers’ produce and contribute in general to heightened economic activity.

It is becoming increasingly clear that those fiercely opposed to organised food retail are small traders and middlemen. Growers should generally be happy with the advent of big retail because they have more number of buyers to sell to. However, organised retail is prone to be ruthless when it comes to quality and delivery schedule. There is generally no compromise on this because retail has too much at stake — in the form of investment, customer satisfaction and so on. Farmers defaulting on their commitment will not be treated with kid gloves.

Capital-intensive

Cost is an important consideration in the business plan of any organised retail. Setting up a large format store is capital-intensive, including high real-estate costs. Operational costs too are high because of relatively high wages, power costs, cost of money and so on. On the other hand, customers are cost-and-quality conscious. They have a choice of alternatives.

Then, where will the retailer capture value? It is, more often than not, at the back-end. As uncompetitive prices would drive customers away but friendly prices retain them, the retailer’s degrees of freedom are limited at the front-end.

Therefore, usually retailers try to capture value at the back-end; and at the farthest end is the grower. While organised retail provides a large and ready marketing outlet for growers, there is simply no guarantee that farmers will obtain remunerative prices. They would obtain market-determined prices; and they have little control over the way in which the market price is determined.

Unequal fight

This cat-and-mouse game between organised retail and small farmers is often an unequal fight, given the vulnerability of the latter. Free-markets have many votaries, but often those propagating free markets may never have been subjected to the market’s cruelty. Given the unequal nature of the transaction and potential for exploitation, the government needs to step in.

Indeed, it would be prudent for any government to draw economic and political mileage out of organised food retail. Advancing affirmative action can do this.

The experience of many countries shows that food and grocery retail is a driver of higher farm production, better quality, efficient supply chain and, of course, employment.

Organised retail has the potential to contribute to the transformation of the country’s moribund agricultural sector. What can the State do? Many things. The State can actively encourage contract farming, which will bring together hitherto disparate farmers.

A three-way partnership between organised retail, farmer groups and government will accelerate production of market-driven standardised quality. Farmers should be able to obtain quality-related prices, something they never enjoyed.

The three-way partnership will ensure small farmers are not short-changed. Small traders and shopkeepers seem to be the worst hit by organised retail and their interest needs to be protected too. Ironically, in terms of sheer numbers, the traditional ‘mom-and-pop’ shops will cumulatively have more customers than organised large-format retail.

Location, of course, is an important criterion. Small street-corner shops may be less favoured in areas with concentration of high-income groups or upmarket customers. There may be cases of relocation under such circumstances.

Training needed

The State can support small retail stay in business and earn livelihood. Imparting training to stay in competition with organised retail is necessary. For instance, small shopkeepers must explore innovative customer care methods (like, say, home delivery of goods ordered). Importantly, the State can help small shopkeepers access finance at concessional terms for scaling up operations, improved display, and so on. The State’s affirmative action will go a long way in enabling and empowering growers and small retail.

As the economy expands, so do business opportunities. Importantly, given the skewed income distribution in the country, there is likely to be demand for a wide variety of goods and services at every price point.

There will be consumers all along — from the high-end to the low-end of the market. There will be well-heeled customers favouring organised retail and many others looking for quick, personalised service at competitive rates. Appropriate policies and affirmative action can lead to peaceful co-existence.

 

News Update Service
Friday, November 23, 2007 : 2100 Hrs

Police inspect a blast site at a civil court in Lucknow on Friday. Similar blasts occurred in Varanasi and Faizabad. Photo: PTI

Terror strikes UP; 14 killed, over 60 hurt in 6 blasts

Lucknow (PTI): Terror struck on Friday in Uttar Pradesh when militants triggered near-simultaneous blasts in court premises in Varanasi, Faizabad and the state capital killing 14 people, some of them lawyers, and injuring over 60.

Six bombs — three in Varansi, two in Faizabad and one in Lucknow — some planted on cycles, went off within a span of 15 minutes in the crowded court complexes between 1310 hours and 1325 hours.

A near stampede broke out in and around the blast spots with many injured bleeding profusely running for their life while several other wounded lay on the floor crying for help.

Police rushed to the spots and cordoned off the area and helped people in rushing the injured to various hospitals.

Apart from Uttar Pradesh, security was put on high alert in several parts of the country including the Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad in the wake of the blasts today.

S B Shirodkar, Senior Superintendent of Police in the temple town of Varanasi, which was the target of a terror strike last year, said nine people were killed and 45 injured, some of them seriously, when two bombs planted on cylcles went off in quick succession.

He said the injured were admitted to four hospitals including Benares Hindu University Hospital. He said the explosives, planted on cyles, went off when the court premises was crowded with lawyers and litigants.

Four of the dead in Varanasi were identified as Bodh Raj Verma (advocate), Yagya Narain Singh, Moolchand Singh and a 11-year-old boy Sanjeev Kumar.

Priyatosh Tripathi of the bomb disposal squad in Varanasi said the two imporvised explosive devices were planted on two new bicycles and placed in the busy area of the court complex.

In Faizabad town, adjoining holy town of Ayodhya, five people were killed and 25 injured when two bombs in bags exploded in two lawyers’ chambers.

Four of the dead were identified as Radhikaprasad Mishra (lawyer), his assistant Babu Ram, Om Prakash Pandey (stamp vendor) and Kesari Prasad (client), officials said.

They said the first explosion was minor in nature while the second claimed casualities ripping through the two advocate chambers. Three of the seriously injured were taken to King George Medical College Hospital in Lucknow.

In Lucknow, the bomb was planted on a cylce near an electricity complex. However, there was no casuality. A live bomb with a timer device attached to it was also found and defused.

Calling it a terror strike, UP Chief Minister Mayawati attributed the serial blasts to the “failure” on the part of central intelligence agencies.

She announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 2 lakhs to the kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 to the injured.

The blasts came a week after Uttar Pradesh police, along with central security agencies, busted a Jaish-e-Mohammed module who wanted to target Rahul Gandhi. Lawyers had thrashed the three JeM militants when they were being produced before a court here.

Banned Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islamia (HuJI) is believed to be behind the serial blasts.



Jaiswal rushing to Varanasi

New Delhi (PTI): Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal is rushing tonight to Varanasi which was among the three Uttar Pradesh towns where the serial blasts occurred.

Jaiswal, who described the incidents as “pre-planned conspiracy”, said the organisation behind the attack was yet to be identified.

“It is too early to name the organisation behind the incident, but it was certainly a pre-planned conspiracy as three blasts took place simultaneously in the state,” he said.

Besides Varanasi, the blasts occurred in Faizabad and Lucknow leaving 14 people dead and a number of others injured.

Jaiswal said the main motive of the militants was to create panic in the country and disturb communal harmony. “It is time to remain united and reply to the nefarious designs of the anti-social elements,” he said appealing to the people to maintain peace and harmony.

Refuting allegations that police failed on intelligence, he said, “UP police had recently arrested three militants and I am sure the police must have taken all precautionary measures.”

Home Ministry sends alerts to all states, UTs

New Delhi (PTI): Acting swiftly after the serial blasts in Uttar Pradesh, the Union Home Ministry on Friday issued advisories to all states and union territories to step up vigil and surveillance.

Strongly condemning the blasts, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said it was yet another attempt by anti-national elements to spread panic.

“I am confident that peace loving people of the country will give a fitting reply to such elements,” Patil said as he conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved families and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

The Home Minister asserted that the government would continue to fight terrorism in a resolute manner.

The security establishment is in touch with the state government to see if any assistance was required by it from the Centre.

An MHA spokesman said Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta was in touch with the Uttar Pradesh police chief on the incident.

Meanwhile, central forensic teams were being rushed to the blasts sites in Uttar Pradesh.

A sudden bang, blood and bodies all over…

Lucknow (PTI): It was a calm Friday afternoon with lawyers having consultations with their clients in the court premises here. Suddenly, there was a bang and blood and bodies all around.

Profusely bleeding people started running helter skelter as they tried to come to terms as to what had happened.

Before it came to be known that that a bomb had exploded, six people were killed and several were wounded.

Similar scenes were witnessed in the court premises in Varanasi and Faizabad, which took were rocked by the serial bomb blasts — six in all.

The bombs, most of them planted on cycles, went off blowing away the tin sheets near the lawyers chambers.

“I was talking to my client when a bomb exploded and for few seconds I was unable to think what has happended. It took me minutes to realise that it was a bomb blast,” said a woman lawyer at the Lucknow court.

The lawyer said she saw people were running here and there. “My body is still shivering with the sound of the blast,” the shocked advocate said.

The vehicles in the court parking area were strewn everywhere and seats of some of the vehicles were thrown in the air.

“As soon as I entered the court premises on my motorcycle, I heard a loud sound. First, I did not understand what was it. Then I saw steel pellets scattered in about ten meters of the area,” a man, who visited the court in Faizabad, said.

Another lawyer in Varanasi said the blasts took them unawares as they were “busy talking to the clients”.

“We did not understand what was happening. Suddenly I heard loud cries and some people who were profusely bleeding running. When I came out I saw a seat of a cycle in the air. The seat of lawyers were also blown off,” a lawyer at Varanasi court complex said.

Militants triggered near-simultaneous blasts in court premises in Varanasi, Faizabad and the state capital of Lucknow killing 14 people, some of them lawyers and injuring over 50 others.

Six bombs — three in Varansi, two in Faizabad and one in Lucknow — some planted on cycles, went off within a span of 15 minutes in the crowded court complexes between 1310 and 1325 hours.

HuJI suspected to be behind serial blasts

New Delhi (PTI): Banned Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islamia (HuJI) is believed to be behind the serial blasts that rocked the Uttar Pradesh on Friday killing over a dozen people besides injuring several others.

Sources in the security agencies said the terror strike could be seen as a revenge by the banned outfit for the assault on its members including the recent incident when lawyers manhandled three Jaish-e-Mohammed militants arrested in Lucknow last week.

They said Jaish could have sought the help of HuJI as both the outfits followed the Deoband sect of Islam.

HuJI, which is being mainly run from Bangaldesh, has managed to establish cells in the Uttar Pradesh and that the outfit was responsible for previous major terror attacks.

All three court premises in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi, targeted on Frioday by the militants, had seen an incident of manhandling of militants or activists of anti-Ram temple in Ayodhya by lawyers.

Last week three JeM militants were roughed up by lawyers and the bar association refused to take up their cases.

Faizabad court premises was witness to an altercation between activists of a Babri Masjid organisation and lawyers. The local bar association had banned its advocates from taking up their case.

The court premises in Varanasi was witness last year to beating of a Waliullah Khan, the main accused in the Sankat Mochan temple explosions.

In a related development, an outfit by the name of Al-Hind Mujahideen had claimed responsibility about the attacks and sent emails to some media houses.



Noida land scam: go-ahead for CBI

Legal Correspondent

Noida Authority’s appeal is dismissed

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to continue its probe into the ‘Noida land scam’ reported during the Mulayam Singh Yadav regime in 2005. Several politicians, bureaucrats, judges and their kin were said to be beneficiaries in the scam.

“Since the Noida Authority and UPDESCO [Uttar Pradesh Development System Corporation Ltd] have no objection to complying with the Allahabad High Court order, the appeal does not survive,” said a Bench consisting of Justices H.K. Sema and Justice Aftab Alam.

Housing plots allotment

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by the NOIDA Authority, which challenged the High Court order directing the CBI probe into alleged irregularities in a controversial draw of lots in which the names of the daughter-in-law of the former Chief Justice of India Y. K. Sabharwal and the son of the acting Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court Jagdish Bhalla also figured.

Among the politicians who were declared successful in the draw of lots for allotment of around 1,250 residential plots were Munni Devi, Rewti Raman Singh, Rashid Masood, Jai Prakash (Samajwadi Party) and Ashok Pradhan (BJP).

Interim order

The apex court, in its interim order on November 11, 2005, stayed the CBI investigation, which was ordered by the High Court on October 4, 2005 on a bunch of public interest litigation petitions.

However, soon after assuming office this year, the Mayawati government recommended to the Centre that a CBI inquiry be held into the alleged misconduct of the officials responsible for the controversial draw of lots.

Taking note of the State’s revised stand, the apex court Bench dismissed the appeal filed by the NOIDA Authority against the High Court order.

U.P. Govt. signs pact for mega power project

Special Correspondent

NTPC will set up the thermal unit in Allahabad district

Photo: Subir Roy

Towards a better future: An MoU for the power project between Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd and NTPC was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Mayawati in Lucknow on Thursday.

LUCKNOW: The National Thermal Power Corporation, now known simply as NTPC, will set up the 1320-megawatt ( 2 X 660 MW ) thermal power plant in Meja tehsil of Allahabad district in Uttar Pradesh. A joint venture agreement was signed on Thursday between the UP Government, NTPC and UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (UPRVUNL) to establish and operate the Meja power station.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the presence of UP Chief Minister Mayawati at a function held at her 5, Kalidas Marg residence. UPRVUNL Chairman G. B. Patnaik, State Principal Secretary (Energy) V. N. Garg and NTPC Chairman and Managing Director T. Sankaralingam were the signatories to the agreement which envisages a joint venture company.

To be built at an estimated cost of about Rs.6,000 crore, the project is likely to be completed in 2011. UP will get 75 per cent of the total power generated by the Meja power unit. The share capital of UPRVUNL and NTPC would be 50 per cent each in the joint venture with the Utpadan Nigam to invest Rs.1,080 crore in the project. About 2,500 acres of land near Koharar Ghat in Meja tehsil has been identified for the plant, township and ash disposal area and about 100 cusecs of water for the project would be drawn from the rivers Tons and Ganga.

For the first time in the State, the “super critical boiler” technique would be used in the Meja project.

Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister said her Bahujan Samaj Party was aware that power is the most critical input for the development of the State and improving electric supply was one of the priority areas of her government. She said a target of creating an additional capacity of 1,250 MW had been fixed in the current financial year. An additional capacity of around 10,000 MW would be created by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan in 2012.

Describing the MoU as a positive beginning towards ending the power crisis, Ms. Mayawati blamed the previous governments for UP’s power woes.

Mr. Sankaralingam said the Meja power project would act as a catalyst for all-round development of UP. Terming UP as the “mother State” of NTPC, he said it was in Singrauli that the Corporation built its first power station and 7,180 MW alone was contributed by NTPC’s power plants in the State.

The NTPC CMD said in addition to setting up the Meja unit, the expansion of the Tanda thermal power station in Ambedkar Nagar district would be undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs.6,000 crore. The first 660-MW units of Meja and Tanda will begin power generation by the end of the 11th Plan, he added.

Meanwhile, two Power-Purchase Agreements were signed on Wednesday between the UP Power Corporation Limited and NTPC for enabling the State to get 500 MW power from NTPC’s units in Baadh (Bihar) and North Karanpura (Jharkhand).

According to Mr. Patnaik, who is also the Chairman of UP Power Corporation Limited, 200 MW from the Baadh unit would be available in 2009 with another 300 MW from the North Karanpura plant in 2010.

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