Environment Ministry gets 6 months to clear Rs 50,000-cr stalled power projects

The Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) on Monday asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests to expedite approvals for nearly Rs 50,000-crore worth power projects.

These projects belong to, among others, private players such as Essar Power, Reliance Power and Jaiprakash Power Ventures. Sources privy to the meeting told Business Line that the Ministries of Coal, Power, Mines and Environment and Forests have been directed to sort out issues pending with States within the next ‘six months.’

“The high-level panel took an update on the progress of fuel supply agreement for 78,000 MW,” a Minister present at the meeting told Business Line.

In fact, specific timelines for the stalled power projects have been decided, a Senior Power Ministry official said. The Committee considered 36 stalled infrastructure projects, including 28 in the power sector.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal informed the panel that Coal India has agreed to sign fuel pacts for Rs 83,772 crore of power projects by August 31.

The projects reviewed by the Committee include ‘diversion of forest land’ for the Rs 20,852-crore Sasan Power belonging to the Anil Ambani Group. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has been told to pursue with the Madhya Pradesh Government the Chhatrasal coal block associated with this power project.

Essar Power’s Tori-I power plant in Jharkhand faces a similar problem. The MoEF has not received the required proposals from the State to give its go-ahead for the Rs 5,700-crore project.

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