SP promise derails power project

The Samajwadi Party's poll promise of compensation six times than the circle rate to farmers for their land has derailed the proposed 1,320 MW extension thermal power project of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in Ambedkar Nagar.

Even though the final notification for land acquistion has been issued, farmers are said to be reluctant to sign the agreement in the hope of the promised compensation.

An exasperated Ambedkar Nagar District Magistrate Pinki Jowel said she will mention in her report that NTPC should scrap its projects planned for the district.

The SP in its election manifesto had mentioned that farmers' land — which gives two crops — will not be acquired for infrastructural and industrial purpose. If it is done under special circumstances, the farmers will be paid six times the circle rate.

Jowel, however, said no such order has been received from the state government.

"Despite a much lucrative offer, farmers are not coming forward. I will submit a report clearly indicating that the project should be scrapped and NTPC should not consider Ambedkar Nagar for its future projects," said the DM.

The NTPC at Tanda, Ambedkar Nagar, already has a 440 MW thermal power station. In 2010, its extension to set up two units of 660 MW were conceived. A total of 808 hectares of land spanning nine villages is required for the project. The final notification was issued on August 18, 2010 with a two-year time for land acquisition. The deadline, thus, expires on August 18, 2012, failing which the whole process will have to be started afresh.

"If the land is not transferred immediately, then it will take minimum two more years for the project to take off. It will result in escalation of the cost of the project," said PRO, NTPC, Sahdev Sethi over the phone.

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