Four mega projects shelved in the State

A major setback to the development of North Andhra

June 19, 2018 01:16 am | Updated 07:28 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

The gate leading to the  project site of NTPC Pudimadaka Super Thermal Power Plant near Visakhapatnam.

The gate leading to the project site of NTPC Pudimadaka Super Thermal Power Plant near Visakhapatnam.

In a big blow to the development of North Andhra, four mega projects sanctioned for Visakhapatnam including the 4x1000 MW ultra modern power project by the NTPC at Pudimadaka have been shelved due to various reasons.

Touted as the largest single investment after formation of Sunrise Andhra Pradesh, the NTPC project was dropped on the directive from the Centre to set up the unit at ₹26,828 crore by using domestic coal instead of imported coal as envisaged originally.

“Redesigning the project after acquiring 1,200 acres from the APIIC was found unviable... we have decided not to go ahead with the project,” an NTPC official told The Hindu . The decision is yet to be announced officially though the NTPC withdrew the officials it had posted for the project at the temporary office opened at the Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone, Atchutapuram. Another project conceived before bifurcation, the IT Investment Region (ITIR), has also met with a premature death due to the Centre’s decision to spike the ITIR Policy.

The TDP government identified 4,074 acres of processing and 5,905 acres of non-processing area for an investment of ₹50,000 crore to ₹60,000 crore.

It commissioned Ernst and Young to conduct a study and submitted a proposal to the Centre to sanction it.

Another setback was the shelving of the LNG terminal at the Gangavaram Port by the Petronet LNG Ltd, a company floated by several profit-making oil companies. The public hearing for the project envisaged with a two-phase 10-million tonne capacity and an investment of ₹9,000 crore was held in 2013.

Poor response

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s promise to develop a better version of the Cyber Tower with a Signature Tower at the sea-facing Rushikonda in 20 acres has fallen flat after naming the American realty firm Janes Long LaSalle (JLL) as project consultant. Poor response to the PPP modelled project from investors led to the permanent closure. An investment of ₹500 crore was mooted for the project under Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.

The lapse of ₹40 crore led to the removal of plaque to mark the foundation stone laid by Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the Visakhapatnam Special Economic Zone-Duvvada. The tower with 1.09 square ft. area along with 30,000 sft exclusively for disaster data recovery was a long-awaited need. “North Andhra needs several projects from both the Centre and the State. How can the area develop if projects are dropped at this rate,” asked Vizag Development Forum vice-president O. Naresh Kumar.

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