The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has served notices to the state government and state power companies for justifying of the closure of four units of Koradi Thermal Power Station power and buying power from a private power company.
Responding to public interest litigation (PIL), a bench comprising Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice PD Kode, told the state government and state power companies to reply in two weeks.
The petitioners, Umesh Choube, a social worker and Priyadarshan Madkholkar, a lawyer, alleged that the authorities hatched a political conspiracy to extend undue gains to private power producer.
The petition charged respondents with closing the old units of Koradi Thermal Power Station near Nagpur under the pretext of checking pollution without any logic and rationale.
The respondents deliberately showed Koradi units running into losses and cited old structure and machinery as a reason to fast track closure in January this year. A month ago, the plant’s chief engineer, in a monthly review meeting claimed that these units had earned Rs 9-crore monthly profit.
Instead of erecting additional transmission line, the Maha Transco and its political bosses chose the easy way of closing down four profit-making units (105 MW each) of Koradi, thus reducing the power generated by the state utility, the petitioners alleged.
The KTPS is located at Koradi near Nagpur. The power plant is one of the four major power plants in Vidarbha region that began operations in 1974. The plant used to operate its 7 units and had a total power generation capacity of 1080 MW.
Earlier, the vocal BJP legislator from Nagpur, Devendra Fadnavis had alleged a massive scam in the closure of four units of 105 each MW at Koradi. He had claimed that this was done to provide transmission corridor to Wardha Power Company Limited (WPCL)’s 540 MW Warora power plant in collusion with the Maha Transco.
The Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) had also appealed to Maharashtra State Electricity Regulatory Authority (MERC) to enquire into the matter.