Scrutiny of technical qualifications of all bidders under way

Four companies, including three Chinese firms, have participated in bids for the 1,320-MW Udangudi thermal power project.

The other company is the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, says an official in the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), which has floated bids for the project.

At present, the scrutiny of technical qualifications of the bidders is under way. This process is expected to be completed shortly. Subsequently, the authorities will examine price bids of the bidders. The official adds that since the Udangudi project has obtained environmental clearance, work on the project can start immediately after the contract has been awarded.

The estimated cost of the Udangudi project is around Rs. 8,400 crore. The project is to be executed on EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) basis and the agency to be identified for execution should finance the debt component of the project - approximately 75 per cent.

As much as 940 acres are required for the project. Even though the revised capacity of the project is 1,320 MW, the Union Ministry’s communication of October 14 on environmental clearance refers to the original capacity - two units of 800 MW each.

The communication has also stated that there are no mangroves and sand dunes. Also, there is no presence of coral reef or pearl bank within 10 from the disposal point.

Estimated to cost about Rs. 24,000 crore, the Cheyyur project envisages the supply of 1,600 MW to Tamil Nadu. In the event of commissioning of the project, Karnataka will get 800 MW; Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra - 400 MW each; Kerala and Uttar Pradesh – 300 MW each and Punjab – 200 MW. Totally, about 1,110 acres are required, for which the process of land acquisition is under way.

The communication of the Union Ministry, issued on September 30, has stated that there are no national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, heritage sites and tiger/biosphere reserves within 10 km of the project site. Alternative grazing land for 18.64 hectares in Kokrathangal and Poongunam villages should be developed and handed over to affected villagers in a time-bound manner.

For both the projects, the creation of Green Endowment Funds and Fishermen Endowment Welfare Funds has been ordered by the Union Ministry.

Special Correspondent writes from Chennai:

A section of the farmers who say their land falls under the area earmarked for the Cheyyur project told mediapersons on Monday that they were unwilling to part with their lands. They have written to the Chief Minister’s Cell voicing their concerns over the project affecting the water resources in the land. They also alleged that the Power Finance Corporation was misleading investors by not disclosing legal and land acquisition challenges it faced.

M. Marimuthu, representative of Pannaiyur Periakuppam village, and the main petitioner against the project with the National Green Tribunal, said the villagers have been raising their objections for the project for some time now, but have not heard from the government or the project developers.

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