The Maharashtra government will probe land deals by companies and individuals, who have set up windmills in various districts, following complaints that many of these transactions were illegal.
The government has received complaints that land on which many of these windmills stand was bought at throwaway prices. Among those who have invested money in this sector are multinational companies and Bollywood actors.
A three-member committee under Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue), Ramesh Kumar, will conduct the probe.
Ratho told Hindustan Times that his department has issued a notification. “We will start the probe as quickly as possible,” said Ratho. “The inquiry will be held in every case in which we have received complaints.”
Other members on the committee are Energy Secretary, Subrat Ratho, and Director General of Maharashtra Energy Development Agency, Anand Limaye. The development agency is the nodal body for non-conventional energy.
The complaints the government has received pertain to land in Sangli, Solapur, Satara, Dhule, Nandurbar and Nashik districts. The high wind velocity in these districts helps rotate windmills that, in turn, move turbines to produce electricity.
The land deals were questioned in the Legislature last year.
Wind power projects of nearly 2,000 Mega Watts have already attracted private investment worth more than Rs 8,900 crore. The government has set a target of installing projects with a total generation capacity of 20,000 MW in five years.
Asia’s largest windmill park has been developed at Bramhanwel in Dhule district.
The project that came up on land belonging to a tribal community threw up several complaints claiming that the Restoration Act forbids the sale and purchase of tribal land.
A multinational company that manufactures windmills has huge stakes in the park.