An expert panel of the environment ministry has dealt Adani Power Ltd a double blow by putting its 1,600 megawatt (MW) power plant in Jharkhand on hold in the absence of details regarding the water required for it and asking the firm to scout for another location to expand its existing 4,620 MW power plant in Mundra, Gujarat.
The project that has been put on hold is the 1,600 MW (2 x 800 MW) Paraspani thermal power project of Adani Power (Jharkhand) Ltd in Jharkhand.
This project is as a result of an agreement between India and Bangladesh signed in January 2010 with a view to enhance ties through economic cooperation.
In August, Adani Power signed an agreement with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to develop the thermal power plant and supply the entire power generated to BPDB through a dedicated transmission line.
The project was discussed in the meeting of the environment ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of Thermal Power and Coal Mining Projects last month.
At the meeting, Adani Power (Jharkhand) Ltd said it had received the approval of the Jharkhand government’s water resources department for withdrawing water from the nearby Chir river on an annual basis for the project.
Citing inadequate information about the river and the water-use, the committee deferred its decision on the project.
The committee asked Adani Power (Jharkhand) to seek a clarification from the Jharkhand government’s water resources department regarding the “requirement of National Ganga River Basin Authority approval for water withdrawal and if so, whether the same has been obtained”.
Senior officials of Jharkhand government’s water resources department has been asked by the committee to be present when the proposal is considered next.
An Adani Group spokesperson declined to comment on the story in response to an emailed query.
The committee also discussed the guidelines for conducting an environmental impact study of the Adani Power’s plan to expand its Mundra project.
The committee expressed concern that the creek ecosystems and ecologically sensitive mangroves near the plant would be affected, and asked Adani Power to look for another location to expand the existing 4,620 MW power plant’s capacity to 7,620 MW.
The committee also noted that the area already has power plants with a total generating capacity of 8,000 MW (the Tata group’s 4,000 MW thermal power plant as well as Adani Power’s own 4,000 MW thermal power plant).
“There are also several other major ongoing industrial activities in the area,” the committee noted according to the minutes of the meeting that Mint has reviewed.
“Consequently, the land use patterns and the natural environment of the area have already undergone major changes, and have come under stress,” the committee added.