Another Bhopal? Sonbhadra-Singrauli has all the ingredients

AVESH TIWARI@PatrikaNews | 7 June 2016

Have you heard of the Sonbhadra-Singrauli belt? This region at the cusp of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh is billed by many as India’s energy capital. What nobody talks of is how this belt is on the brink of a disaster that can match the Bhopal disaster.Another Bhopal? Sonbhadra-Singrauli has all the ingredients

The methyl isocyanate leak at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal led to India’s biggest industrial disaster on 2 December, 1984. Such was the scale of the leak that horror stories haven’t stop coming out three decades on. But have we learnt any lesson?

Doesn’t seem so if we look at Sonbhadra-Singrauli. The 40 square-kilometre area hosts some half-a-dozen power plants – both coal-fired and hydro-electric. Their combined capacity of about 21,000 megawatts (MW) cater to a large part of the country.

Now private groups such as Reliance, Lanco and Essar as well as state-owned utilities are set to add 20,000 MW more by setting up several projects in the next five years.

The belt also houses several other industries like an aluminum, chemical and carbon factories of the Birlas and a cement factory owned by the Jaypee Group.

But these impressive numbers tell just one side of the story.

FARMER TRAGEDIES
The Sonbhadra-Singrauli belt is also known for the plight of its farmers whose land has been ruined by mining and limestone.

This region is also home to over five lakh Adivasis. In fact, Sonbhadra is the only district of Uttar Pradesh where tribals are in a majority.

However, the fruits of industrial activity have barely reached these people with most of them find it difficult to make ends meet.

The region is traversed by eight small rivers. With the area accounting for nearly 16% of the total carbon emission in the country, it is of little surprise that all the river waters are completely polluted.

In other words, every inch of this land is prone to a catastrophe like Bhopal. The greed of industrialists, politicians and bureaucrats is not the only reason for this risk.

The media is equally to blame for this state of affairs. It will highlight Sonbhadra-Singrauli’s issues only after a disaster. Otherwise, it is happy to look the other way.

Enrico Fabian for The Washington Post via Getty Images
POISON FACTORY
The chloro chemicals division of Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Ltd, located at Renukoot, produces some of the most dangerous substances for industrial use. It was acquired by the Aditya Birla group in 2011 at a cost of Rs 830 crore.

It is estimated that the waste produced by this factory kills 40-50 people every year on average. Most of this waste is released directly into the Rihand dam. And the effect is telling on the surrounding population.

Thousands of residents in hundreds of villages around the Rihand Dam have been completely or partially crippled.

“Waste from the Kanoria Chemicals factory at Renukoot kills 40-50 people every year on an average”
In December 2011, 20 people of the Kamari Dand village in Sonbhadra district lost their lives after using the water from the Rihand Dam. Thousands of cattle had also met with the same fate.

Investigations proved that the chemicals released from the Kanoria Chemicals Factory had poisoned the water. Yet, the issue did not attract enough media attention.

Earlier, a gas leak from the Kanoria plant had killed five people in January 2005. The accident reportedly occurred because of the negligence of company officials.

Villages after village in Sonbhadra are falling prey to the fatal disease of Fluorosis, a chronic condition caused by excessive intake of fluorine compounds.

There is hardly a person in villages like Padwa Kodawari and Kusumha, who has not been afflicted with some of kind of physical deformity due to this disease.

HAZARD CALLED MERCURY
The power plants of Sonbhadra-Singrauli emit 1.5 tonnes of fly ash every year. This fly ash is composed of mercury that is extremely harmful to the human body. Traces of mercury have been found in the samples of human hair, blood and even crops of this region.

The locals have no option but to live with the impact of this pollution. The sun here is paled with the dust coming out of towering chimneys. A blanket of haze engulfs the air as soon as the evening sets in.

The pollution has not even spared the still-to-be-born babies. The death of children during the pre-pregnancy period has become a regular occurrence.

Yet, the state-run Obra and Anpara power plants are operating without any environmental clearance. The Central Pollution Control Board has ordered a close down stating they are ‘too dangerous.’

“State-run Obra and Anpara power plants are operating without environmental clearance”
However, nobody seems baffled with such blatant flouting of norms. The seeds of a Bhopal-like tragedy are being sown, not only in Sonbhadra-Singrauli belt but in every corner of the country.

The state as well as the Union Government is avoiding accountability in the name of development. For now, the Sonbhadra-Singrauli region is nothing more than a hen laying golden eggs for them.

While one Warren Anderson may have gotten away, there are many more in the making.

http://www.catchnews.com/india-news/sonbhadra-singrauli-belt-is-called-india-s-power-capital-but-may-be-headed-for-a-disaster-1465284694.html

रिलायंस पॉवर ने दी पॉवर मैनेजमेंट कंपनी को धमकी , 434 करोड़ रुपये दो नहीं तो 300 मेगावाट बिजली नहीं देंगे

घुमंतू संवाददाता | जबलपुर

सासन पावर ने एमपीपीएमसीएल को थमाया नोटिस

रिलायंस ने मप्र पॉवर मैनेजमेंट कंपनी (एमपीपीएमसीएल) को धमकी दी है कि – यदि उसने 434 करोड़ रुपए का जल्द भुगतान नहीं किया तो वह उसकी निर्धारित सप्लाई तीन सौ मेगावाट घटा देगा। रिलायंस के सासन पावर ने इस बाबत अपने सबसे बड़े प्रोक्यूरर एमपीपीएमसीएल को नोटिस भी भेजा है। एमपीपीएमसीएल के प्रबंध संचालक संजय शुक्ला ने इसकी पुष्टि करते हुए कहा है कि – सासन पावर का यह नोटिस दबाव की राजनीति के सिवाय कुछ नहीं है, जबकि उसे ऐसा करने का अधिकार नहीं है।

सीईआरसी में जाने की तैयारी
सासन पावर का बिजली सप्लाई घटाने का नोटिस मिलते ही मप्र पॉवर मैनेजमेंट कंपनी के अफसर सीईआरसी (सेन्ट्रल इलेक्ट्रिसिटी रेग्युलरटी कमीशन) जाने की तैयारी में जुट गए हैं। दैनिक भास्कर की जब इस मुद्दे पर एमडी संजय शुक्ला से बात हुई तब वे दिल्ली में ही थे। उन्होंने कहा कि – चिंता की कोई बात नहीं है। इस नोटिस को लेकर एमपीपीएमसीएल सीईआरसी के पास जा रही है।

दबाव की राजनीति है यह
मप्र विद्युत अभियंता संघ के महासचिव वी.के.एस. परिहार इसे दबाव की राजनीति बताते हैं। वह कहते हैं कि पहले तो सासन पॉवर ने सस्ती बिजली देने के नाम पर राज्यों से करार किया और इसके नाम पर सैकडा़ें़ करोड़ रुपए के प्रत्यक्ष/अप्रत्यक्ष लाभ मप्र सरकार से हासिल किए। अब यही सस्ती बिजली खुले बाजार में बेच कर मुनाफा कमाने का वह रास्ता खोज रहा है। ऐसा किया जा सके इसीलिए एमपीपीएमसीएल को उसके हिस्से की 1480 मेगावाट बिजली में से 300 मेगावाट की सप्लाई घटाने का नोटिस दिया है।

एससी में जा चुके हैं
ऑल इंडिया पॉवर इंजीनियर्स फेडरेशन के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष शैलेन्द्र दुबे कहते हैं कि – एआईपीईएफ व एमपीपीएमसीएल सहित आधा दर्जन से अधिक प्रोक्यूरर सासन पावर की सीओडी (कॉमर्शियल ऑपरेशन डेट) 31 मार्च 2013 मान्य किये जाने के एप्टेल के फैसले के खिलाफ सुप्रीम कोर्ट में याचिका दाखिल कर चुके हैं। इसलिए जब तक वहां इस पर अंतिम फैसला नहीं हो जाता, एमपीपीएमसीएल सहित बाकी प्रोक्यूरर क्यों सीओडी क्लेम अमाउंट का भुगतान करेंगे।

इसलिए नहीं है अधिकार
एमडी संजय शुक्ला कहते हैं कि सीओडी क्लेम के मुद्दे पर एप्टेल के फैसले के बाद सासन पावर द्वारा बकाया राशि चुकाने बाबत केवल एक पत्र भेजा गया है। बकाया राशि का उसने कोई बिल नहीं भेजा है। बिना बिल केवल पत्र के आधार पर 354 करोड़ रुपए का बकाया और उस पर 80 करोड़ के ब्याज का कैसे भुगतान किया जा सकता है। बकौल श्री शुक्ला- जब तक रिलायंस का सासन यूएमपीपी अपना गणनात्मक बिल नहीं देगा, हम क्लियरीफिकेशन कैसे कर सकेंगे?
http://epaper.bhaskar.com/detail/?id=1009483&boxid=5312172483&view=text&editioncode=180&pagedate=05/31/2016&pageno=1&map=map&ch=mpcg

मोरवा से 50 हजार लोग होंगे विस्थापित

राजपत्र में प्रकाशन के साथ तमाम अटकलों पर लगा विराम
केन्द्र सरकार ने मोरवा सहित 10 गांवों की जमीन अधिग्रहित करने मंजूरी दी
47 सौ एकड़ से ज्यादा भूमि पर कब्जा करेगा एनसीएल

इस क्षेत्र में होगा भू-अर्जन
ग्राम पटवारी सर्किल संख्या क्षेत्र हेक्टेयर में
चटका              29               42
झिंगुरदह          29             507
चूरीदह            29                9
गोरबी              92             10.3
कठास            92              3.54
कुसवई           29               0.52
मेढौली             28            638.3
पंजरेह              29            558
चटका             29             127
झिंगुरदह         29             30
कुल- 1925.66 हेक्टेयर
यह भी उल्लेख- केन्द्रीय सरकार को यह प्रतीत होता है कि अनुसूची में उल्लेखित परिक्षेत्र की भूमि में कोयला अभिप्राप्त किए जाने की संभावना है जिसके लिए महाप्रबंधक राजस्व, पुनर्वास और पुनस्र्थापन, एनसीएल सिंगरौली के कार्यालय अथवा महाप्रबंधक अथवा जिला कलेक्टर सिंगरौली के कार्यालय में किया जा सकता है।

अभी तक ऐसा समझा जा रहा था कि एनसीएल कभी भी मोरवा को कोयला निकालने के लिए खाली नहीं कराएगा। हजारों लोगों का विस्थापन और उनकी पुर्नबसाहट कोई आसान काम नहीं है। लेकिन, ऐसी तमाम अटकलों पर केन्द्र सरकार ने विराम लगाते हुए मोरवा सहित आसपास के 10 गांवों की जमीन अधिग्रहीत करने धारा 4 का राजपत्र में प्रकाशन कर दिया है। इसके साथ ही 50 हजार से ज्यादा लोगों का उजड़ना तय हो गया है। संभवत: यह देश का अब तक का सबसे बड़ा विस्थापन होगा। मेढ़ौली के मुददे पर एनसीएल से नाराज चल रहे विस्थापितों का साथ देने मोरवा के लोग पहले ही सड़कों पर उतर चुके हैं लेकिन अब केन्द्र की अधिसूचना के बाद उनका क्या रुख होगा, ये आने वाला समय बताएगा। उल्लेखनीय है कि दैनिक भास्कर से चर्चा के दौरान अगस्त माह में ही एनसीएल सीएमडी टीके नाग ने इस बात के संकेत दे दिए थे कि मोरवा के अधिग्रहण की दिशा में जल्द प्रक्रिया शुरू हो सकती है। एनसीएल की जयंत, ककरी और दुधिचुआ कोल परियोजनाओं के विस्तार के लिए कोयला मंत्रालय की ओर से भारत सरकार ने असाधारण अधिसूचना का प्रकाशन कर दिया है। यह अधिसूचना एनसीएल मुख्यालय के 16 मार्च को लिखे गये पत्र के आधार पर 4 मई को लागू की गई है।

इस अधिसूचना के जारी होने के बाद मोरवा सहित आस पास के दस गांवों से कोयला निकालने के लिए भू- अर्जन की प्रक्रिया के लिए पहला कदम बढ़ा दिया गया है। इस अधिसूचना के साथ ही कहा गया है कि संबंधित हितबद्ध कोई भी व्यक्ति जो भी इस भूमि या उसके किसी भाग के ऊपर अपना आक्षेप रखता हो अथवा अर्जित भूमि में कि सी प्रकार की नुकसान की संभावना के लिए प्रतिकर का दावा कर सकता है। आपत्ति करने वाले व्यक्ति को 90 दिनों के भीतर महाप्रबंधक राजस्व, पुनर्वास एवं पुनस्र्थापन एनसीएल सिंगरौली के पास अपना आवेदन देना होगा। इस अधिसूचना को जारी करते हुए अधिसूचना में दो अनुसूची भी संलग्र की गई है जिसमें भूमि के अर्जन का उद्देश्य और उसकी सीमा रेखा का उल्लेख भी किया गया है। साथ अर्जन के मद आने वाली भूूमि का क्षेत्रफल पटवारी सर्किल व गांवों के नाम भी दर्शाये गये हैं। साथ ही गांवों की सीमा को बताते हुए उनके अधीनस्थ अर्जित की जाने वाली जमीन का भी उल्लेख किया गया है।

http://epaper.bhaskar.com/detail/?id=1009496&boxid=53121744754&view=text&editioncode=180&pagedate=05/31/2016&pageno=9&map=map&ch=mpcg

Sasan: State goes to SC against APTEL decision

Bhopal: The state government has moved the Supreme Court against the decision of Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL), which decided in favour of power producer on March 31 this year and approved its claim that Unit 3 of Sasan UMPP started commercial operations on March 31, 2013.

APTEL’s decision is likely to cost Rs 438 crore to the state government.

The move came after TOI highlighted the issue that Madhya Pradesh will have to pay more than Rs 400 crore to Reliance’s Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) after its plea was turned down by the appellate body.

“We have filed an appeal in the SC last week and we have made an application for stay on orders of the APTEL,” principal secretary, power ICP Keshari told TOI.

He said, “APTEL gave its decision on March 31 and there was a time of 60 days to appeal against its decision. We have filed the appeal in that duration.”

On August 8, 2014, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission decided in favour of procurer states and ruled the claim of the power producer that the Unit 3 of the UMPP attained its commercial operations date on March 31, 2013 is not correct.
As per power purchase agreement between Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Limited and Sasan UMPP, the state agency will get power at a rate of 70 paise per unit for the first two years and then the rates will be revised to Rs 1.31 per unit from the third year of production.
“If March 31, 2013 is accepted as commercial operations date (COD), then the first year of power purchase will end on April 1, 2013 in a single day and from April 1, 2014, power tariff from Sasan will have to be calculated at Rs 1.31 per unit instead of 70 paise per unit,”said an official.

If the APTEL’s decision is approved by the apex court, Sasan will get Rs 1,050 crore and of this, Rs 438 crore will have to be paid by Madhya Pradesh as it is the biggest procurer of power from Sasan UMPP.

Sasan UMPP is situated in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh and has six units producing 660 MW each.

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Sasan-State-goes-to-SC-against-APTEL-decision/articleshow/52409875.cms

 

Coal Ministry asks Reliance Power to cut production from Sasan’s coal mines

  The Ministry of Coal has asked Reliance Power Ltd to revise the production plan from two mines allocated to the Sasan ultra mega power project to 16 million tonne per annum and present a new mining plan for the same.

The mining plan for the two mines – Moher and Moher Amlohri Extn – is currently 20 million tonne per annum. Production has already started from these mines.

In a letter to Sasan Power Ltd, the Coal Ministry said, “Sasan Power Ltd is required to revise the mining plan of Moher and Moher Amlohri coal blocks from the preset 20 million tonne per annum to 16 million tonne per annum mine capacity so as to conform to the coal requirement of 16 million tonne per annum for the Sasan UMPP, being the specified end use plant.”

“Till the revised mining plan of 16 million tonne per annum to be submitted by the company is approved by the Ministry of Coal, Sasan Power Ltd is also directed to restrict the coal production to the level of Sasan UMPP requirement and not in any case go beyond 16 million tonne per annum from Moher and Moher Amlohri Extn coal blocks,” the letter added.

Last month, the Ministry had de-allocated the Chhatrasal block which was given to the Sasan UMPP, as coal from the block was being diverted to its Chitrangi power plant as per a directive from the previous UPA government.

The NDA Government revisited the provision soon after Reliance Power announced its decision to terminate the power purchase agreement for the Tilaiya UMPP in Jharkhand.

(This article was published on June 3, 2015)

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/cerc-denies-compensation-to-rpower-for-high-diesel-cost-for-operation-of-sasan-umpp-114022400391_1.html

CERC to R-Power: High diesel cost at Sasan your problem

Diesel used to run mining equipment in the captive coal blocks linked to its flagship Project in Madhya Pradesh

 
BS Reporter  |  <news:geo_locations>New Delhi  

February 25, 2014
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has denied Reliance Power (R-Power) the compensation it had sought for the high cost of diesel used to run mining equipment in the captive coal blocks linked to its flagship Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project in Madhya Pradesh.

 
 
 

 

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has denied Reliance Power (R-Power) the compensation it had sought for the high cost of diesel used to run mining equipment in the captive coal blocks linked to its flagship Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project in Madhya Pradesh.

The company had petitioned CERC last year, invoking the ‘Change in Law’ clause of the power purchase agreement (PPA). It argued the government’s January 2013 decision on decontrol of diesel prices had pushed up operating costs by an unforeseen Rs 133 crore annually. The argument failed to cut ice with the regulator. “None of the conditions for a matter to be considered as Change in Law are satisfied,” says its order, adding there was no escalation component for diesel price variation attached to the bid price.

Reliance Power was issued the Letter of Intent (LoI) for the Sasan UMPP in August 2007. The company signed PPAs with 14 state distribution companies the same month. Mining equipment consumed over 59,000 Kilo Letre of diesel per annum at three of the mines attached to the project.

The company said in its petition that the Administered Pricing Mechanism (APM) for diesel was discontinued in 2002 on paper but remained applicable in spirit. Therefore, the price of diesel continued to remain subsidized. But, the subsidy on diesel was removed for bulk consumers in January 2013 leading to the extra expenditure on fuel.

CERC said that the policy to dismantle APM and market-linked pricing of diesel was in existence before August 2007 when the project was bid. It added the argument that the government continued to determine retail prices of petroleum products is not tenable as the market was deregulated in 2002 and the private players were free to charge as per their discretion.

In a separate order issued on Friday, CERC asked the company to submit information on the project including date of bid, assumptions for bid of Rs 1.19 per unit, increase in project cost, savings due to purchase of equipment from China and the Return on Equity (RoE) envisaged. The order was passed on a different petition seeking “economic restitution” due to rupee depreciation.

“Reliance Power welcomes the CERC order recognizing the unprecedented and unforeseen foreign exchange rate variations beyond the control of the company and beyond normal expectations may need to be considered for quantification and compensation by the procurers appropriately,” a company spokesperson said.

CERC had noted that the rate quoted by the company is the lowest among all supercritical power projects and that there may be a case for procurers to share a part of the burden on account of Rupee depreciation considering the extremely competitive rate at which the procurers are getting power.

Rupee slide compensation
In a separate order on Friday, CERC asked the company to file information on the project — date of bid, assumptions for a bid of Rs 1.19 a unit, increase in project cost, savings due to purchase of equipment from China and the return on equity envisaged. The order was passed on a different petition, seeking “economic restitution” due to rupee depreciation.

The company had petitioned CERC last year, invoking the ‘Change in Law’ clause of the power purchase agreement (PPA). It argued the government’s January 2013 decision on decontrol of diesel prices had pushed up operating costs by an unforeseen Rs 133 crore annually. The argument failed to cut ice with the regulator. “None of the conditions for a matter to be considered as Change in Law are satisfied,” says its order, adding there was no escalation component for diesel price variation attached to the bid price.

Reliance Power was issued the Letter of Intent (LoI) for the Sasan UMPP in August 2007. The company signed PPAs with 14 state distribution companies the same month. Mining equipment consumed over 59,000 Kilo Letre of diesel per annum at three of the mines attached to the project.

The company said in its petition that the Administered Pricing Mechanism (APM) for diesel was discontinued in 2002 on paper but remained applicable in spirit. Therefore, the price of diesel continued to remain subsidized. But, the subsidy on diesel was removed for bulk consumers in January 2013 leading to the extra expenditure on fuel.

CERC said that the policy to dismantle APM and market-linked pricing of diesel was in existence before August 2007 when the project was bid. It added the argument that the government continued to determine retail prices of petroleum products is not tenable as the market was deregulated in 2002 and the private players were free to charge as per their discretion.

In a separate order issued on Friday, CERC asked the company to submit information on the project including date of bid, assumptions for bid of Rs 1.19 per unit, increase in project cost, savings due to purchase of equipment from China and the Return on Equity (RoE) envisaged. The order was passed on a different petition seeking “economic restitution” due to rupee depreciation.

“Reliance Power welcomes the CERC order recognizing the unprecedented and unforeseen foreign exchange rate variations beyond the control of the company and beyond normal expectations may need to be considered for quantification and compensation by the procurers appropriately,” a company spokesperson said.

CERC had noted that the rate quoted by the company is the lowest among all supercritical power projects and that there may be a case for procurers to share a part of the burden on account of Rupee depreciation considering the extremely competitive rate at which the procurers are getting power.

Rupee slide compensation
In a separate order on Friday, CERC asked the company to file information on the project — date of bid, assumptions for a bid of Rs 1.19 a unit, increase in project cost, savings due to purchase of equipment from China and the return on equity envisaged. The order was passed on a different petition, seeking “economic restitution” due to rupee depreciation.

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