M. Malleswara Rao

Wakf Board directed to negotiate land issue with Hindujas

Hindujas planning 1,040-MW capacity plant at Devada near Visakhapatnam

BPL project revival entrusted to Group of Ministers headed by Shabbir Ali

HYDERABAD: Power projects proposed by Hindujas and BPL Company at Visakhapatnam and Ramagundam respectively that remained in cold storage for over a decade are on the path of revival.

Efforts are on by the State Government to put them back on the track and ensure their early implementation. As a first step in this direction, the Government has asked the State Wakf Board to negotiate the price with the Hindujas for the sale of an additional 752 acres at Devada near Visakhapatnam for latter’s 1,040-MW capacity plant.

The Hindujus had paid Rs. 2.25 lakh an acre for 370 acres in 1994 when 1,122 acres was allotted to the project. The Supreme Court, disposing a case, later held that the land allotted to the Hindujas was a part of 5,307-acre Wakf property that belonged to Syed Isaq Madani Aulia Dargah, and not to the Revenue Department. The negotiations would, therefore, be conducted within the contours of the Wakf Act, Chief Secretary J. Harinarayan said.

A fresh offer made by the Hindujas to take up the project as a “merchandise plant” is being viewed by the Government as reasonable. Under this proposal, the Hindujas will sell 75 per cent of the power to private parties and the rest to AP Transco at the same price as the NTPC (around Rs 1.80 per unit). The issue of reviving the BPL project has been entrusted to a group of Ministers headed by Mohd. Ali Shabbir (Energy). With a view to avoiding additional burden on consumers, the Government wanted the company to offer power to Transco at Rs 1.79 a unit, and avoid “foreign exchange fluctuation” provision from Power Purchase Agreement.