The dark tunnel the state is going through just got longer.
The process to revive the Dabhol Power Plant has been delayed with the Centre pushing the deadline for completing the gas pipeline needed to run the plant to May 20. As a result, the 700 MW power the state was supposed to get in June from the first stage of the project, is now uncertain.
The pipeline from Gujarat to Maharashtra was to be competed by end of March. But Gujarat wants a higher price for the gas. “We notice with regret that an attempt is being made to subsidise revival of the Dabhol power project of Maharashtra at the cost of Gujarat,” Chief Minister Narendra Modi told the Planning Commission earlier this week.
The 2,144 MW power plant in Western Maharashtra has been touted as an answer to the state’s power woes. The Centre had constituted an empowered Group of Ministers (GOM) to supervise revival of the plant. A major hurdle – high cost of power generated --- that led to closure of the plant five years ago – had been removed with the Centre proposing that the power would be available at 95 paisa per unit. But for that the gas has to come from Gujarat.Modi blamed the gas supply from Gujarat to Dabhol as a cause for prices of gas rising by over 100 per cent for industries and power plants in Gujarat. According to him, a small cess of gas throughout the country would be a better way to revive the project. Cabinet Secretary B. K. Chaturvedi had informed the GOM last month that the deadline for finalisation of the gas pipeline route neat Surat would have to be revised and the issue was being discussed with Modi.