Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today took strong exception to the Andhra Pradesh Government going out of the way to revive the moribund Hindujas’ Visakhapatnam thermal power project, oblivious of the lessons learned from the Enron episode.
In a statement, Dr. JP pointed out that the Hinduja project was one of the fast-track projects sanctioned by the Government 16 years ago either in haste or without proper thought or for extraneous considerations. The fast track projects envisaged guaranteeing a certain rate of return to promoters based on the capital and running expenditure they incurred. Exhuming the project now under the pretext of overcoming power shortage in the State was harmful to the interests of the State and the country.
Dr. JP said, “Power projects in 2009 are sanctioned on the basis of competitive bidding under which only those which supply power at the lowest tariffs are preferred. Instead, the Government of Andhra Pradesh is now trying to revive the Hinduja project offering it a rate of return based on its investment. It was such a thoughtless policy which landed the country in trouble when the Maharashtra Government cleared the Enron power project in the past.”
Dr. JP said that the Andhra Pradesh Government was abusing its powers when it not merely agreed to allot 2000 acres of land and facilitated coal linkage with the Mahanadi coalfields but also asked officials to resolve all Hinduja power project problems on a war-footing.
The Lok Satta President said the PPAs (power purchase agreements) the Government entered into with private power producers in the past had reeked of massive corruption. “Far from undoing the blunder it had committed in the past, the Government is now trying to repeat it.”
Saying that the per mega watt cost of the Hinduja project would be double that of Genco, Dr. JP said the people would have to pay through their nose higher power tariffs. If the Electricity Regulatory Commission of the State rejected the stiff tariff, the Hindujas would sell power outside the State. The Government should, therefore, scrap the Hindika project and instead ask Genco to take it up.
Dr, JP demanded that the Government reveal all details relating to the Hinduja power project and explain how it was going to help the State.