The delay in setting up of a 4000-megawatt (MW) Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) at Cheyyur in Kancheepuram district has resulted in a cost overrun of Rs.5,000 crore, according to the Coastal Tamil Nadu Power Limited (CTNPL).

The CTNPL, which is executing the project, submitted before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Southern Bench, which had last October restrained it from finalising bids for the execution of the project.

The NGT passed the interim order on appeals filed by two residents of the project area seeking to set aside the environmental clearance granted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in 2012 for the proposed captive jetty and coal conveyor in Panaiyur.

Subsequently, Ossie Fernandes, co-convener of the Coastal Action Network, Chennai, and the Conservation Action Trust, Mumbai, filed appeals against the environmental clearance granted to the coal-based thermal power plant.

Filing reply affidavits to the batch of appeals before the NGT on Friday, Jagdeep Kishore, senior counsel for the CTNPL, said several crores of public money had already been spent on the project. Considering the issues involved, he said the matter should be heard and disposed of early. The Bench, comprising judicial member Justice M. Chockalingam and expert member Prof. R. Nagandren, posted the matter for further hearing on March 10. The CTNPL said, “The present project was conceived by the Union government in 2006 at an estimated cost of Rs.20,000 crore. The company has already incurred or committed Rs.300 crore approximately. The delays have resulted in an overrun cost of Rs.5,000 crore over the initial expected cost of Rs.20,000 crore.” Praying the tribunal to recall the order against the final award of work based on the clearances, the CTNPL said that environmental clearances had been given on November 30, 2012, for the captive jetty and coal conveyer at Panaiyur, Cheyyur, and for the thermal power plant at Cheyyur on September 30 last.

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