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‘Ask centre for more power plants’

Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Maharashtra could have as many power plants from the Centre as it wants provided it does away with its sluggish approach to land acquisition, reports Dharmendra Jore.

india Updated: Dec 09, 2009 02:49 IST
Dharmendra Jore

Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Maharashtra could have as many power plants from the Centre as it wants provided it does away with its sluggish approach to land acquisition.

Shinde was in Nagpur to meet his youngest daughter and Solapur legislator, Praniti, who is taking part in her first legislative session.

The former chief minister of Maharashtra said that land acquisition was a major problem for the projects that the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) had planned in the state.

One such project is a 6,000-mega watt (MW), ultra mega unit in Munage, Konkan. The project is still on paper because the state has not been able to convince people to surrender land despite NTPC offering them better compensation packages. Shinde, as the power minister, controls NTPC.

“This project alone can give 2,000 MW to the state,” said Shinde. “And I’m there to help my own state without doing injustice to other states.”

Shinde said local politicians needed to take initiative. Shinde ensured that in his constituency, Solapur, NTPC’s 1,320-MW super critical unit went ahead smoothly. “I convinced people on my own.” The plant’s initial work began early this year.

The Union minister has invited leaders from Maharashtra, including his cabinet colleagues Sharad Pawar and Vilasrao Deshmukh, and state energy minister Ajit Pawar to discuss the state’s power crisis on December 17.