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UP Cong demands scraping of Reliance's Dadri project

The Congress says that the pact in its current form was against the interest of the people, reports M Hasan.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2006 16:50 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan

The UP Congress on Sunday demanded scrapping of the State Support Agreement with Reliance Energy Limited (REL) for establishment of gas-based power plant in Dadri.

The Congress said that the pact in its current form was against the interest of the people. However, the party said the agreement could be acceptable only if it were thoroughly amended.

Addressing newspersons in Lucknow on Sunday UPCC president Salman Khurshid said the party was not opposed to more power generation in the state, but the agreement should be transparent, favouring the state's interest. Releasing excerpts of the agreement, which was signed in June 2004, Khurshid said the Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav had been misleading the people that power would be available within three years.

The agreement said "The company agrees to make best efforts to commence operation within seven years of signing of this agreement." "Thus there was no possibility of production before 2011," the Congress leader said. Khurshid said the chief minister's claim was contrary to the agreement.

He said since the agreement was heavily in favour of REL, the state government would in no way benefit from the project. He said there was thus; need to amend the clauses with transparency. Rebutting the charge of the chief minister that Congress-led UPA government had delayed the project, Khurshid said the centre was not at all a party to the agreement.

He said there was no deed of providing 2,500 acres of prime land to the REL as the project requirement was much less. He said the REL had agreed to provide only 40 per cent power of the total generation to the state. He said the land was handed over to the company as per its diktat.

Khurshid said the state government had also incurred huge expenses on providing infrastructures around project. He also assailed the government for tax exemption to the REL. He said since the agreement was "one-sided and highly objectionable" a confidentiality clause was inserted to stop access of the document to the people.

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First Published: Dec 10, 2006 16:50 IST