People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXIII

No. 25

June 21, 2009

 

Govt Inactive on Scam-Delayed Barh Power Project

 

Below we publish excerpts from the letter sent by Tapan Sen, MP and CITU secretary, on June 15, to Sushil Kumar Shinde, minister of power, regarding the scam-induced delay in execution of the NTPC super power thermal project (1980 MW) at Barh, Bihar.

 

I TAKE this opportunity to thankfully acknowledge the belated response to my letter addressed to hon’ble prime minister dated September 30, 2008 regarding the scam-induced delay in execution of the NTPC’s super thermal power project (1980 MW) at Barh, Bihar as well as the failure of the government in commissioning the 2700 MW gas based power plant of NTPC at Kawas and Gandhar.

 

I regret to note that your reply is totally silent, even after 9 months, on the scam part of the Barh super thermal power project. I had specifically referred to this confirmation from INTERPOL regarding Rs 90 crore kickbacks allegedly paid by the Russian firm in a London bank account of the Indian recipient whose name was also disclosed in a report by The Economic Times dated June 18, 2008. I fail to understand as to why the government is keeping silent on the follow-up on this kickback even though case was registered by CBI in 2006.

 

As CBI is not under your control, I am forwarding a copy of this letter to the hon’ble prime minister again to take immediate action, so that the persons involved in the kickback which has delayed the 1980 MW project by more than 42 months as accepted by you, are brought to book.

 

Your total silence on the non-availability of gas from KG-D6 Basin which has delayed the commissioning of 2700 MW gas based power plant of NTPC at Kawas and Gandhar, is equally perplexing. In this connection, kindly refer to the reply by ministry of power to the unstarred question Number 496 dated 20.02.2009 in Lok Sabha. Therein it had been stated: “After the issuance of LOI, RIL did not come forward to sign the Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) and sought major changes in the agreed draft of GSPA. NTPC pursued with RIL at various levels and at various meetings to sign the GSPA, as per the draft accepted by RIL during the bidding process. However, in spite of all the efforts, RIL did not sign the GSPA agreed during the bidding process.”

 

In view of the above, it is shocking that just after the election the new government has reportedly given the NTPC Ltd an ultimatum to decide on buying natural gas from Reliance Industries on their terms, failing which it will cancel its allocation and give the fuel to other power producers.

 

The Government owes an explanation for sudden reversal of their stand after the election, which, inter alia, means that instead of supporting the government owned company, NTPC, the government has decided to back a private gas producer which has been responsible for delaying for years the power generation by NTPC for public good.

 

A copy of this letter was forwarded to the prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. (INN)