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State urges Centre to fund proposed Rs 1,600 cr 600 MW Pump Storage Project




 The State government has urged the Centre to fund the proposed 600 Mega Watt (MW) Pump Storage Project worth Rs 1,600 crore out of National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF).

While the Union Government has been collecting Central Cess on coal for NCEF, the State is not getting any benefits.

Even as an amount of Rs 6,400 crore has been collected during 2016-17 from 160 Million Ton Coal produced from Odisha, no benefit has been accrued to the State.

Hemant Sharma, Secretary Energy had raised the issue in the recently held meeting of NITI Aayog and pressed for at least 75 percent of the project cost for implementation of Pump Storage Project out of NCEF. Sharma said hydro power is a green energy and it is needed to be supported by the Union government.

As Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) is planning to establish 600 MW Pump Storage Project to address peak power requirement of the State, financial support from NCEF is needed in this regard. WAPCOS has been entrusted the task of preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project. The official said although Odisha is bearing the brunt of coal production and clean energy cess has been increased from existing Rs 200 Per MT, to Rs 400 Per MT, other States are reaping benefits, where NCEF corpus has been used to facilitate generation of solar energy in a big way.

Sharma urged the Union Ministry of Coal to sanction the above amount required for power requirement of the State for promotion of renewable energy. Upper Kolab and Balimela Major Dams are also suitable for setting up of pump storage projects and with funding from Centre, Odisha will prove itself as one of the promising States for renewable energy in a big way.

Raising the issue of inclusion of socio economic and caste census (SECC) beneficiary list in rural electrification schemes, Sharma said that this will help large number of  rural households to be included in the flagship program of the Union government. He said that SECC-2011 data is needed to be included for rural electrification to have better and wider coverage of Households in the program.

Now BPL-1997 list which covers only about 44 lakh households are utilized for rural electrification, while SECC-2011 final list has a total households of 86.77 lakh. A working group was constituted to examine the feasibility of using SECC data in Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), which is the flagship program of the Central government on rural electrification.  The working group report has been shared among the States for their views, said sources. Once the views of the State governments are available, a decision will be taken in this regard, said sources.

 






Editorial

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From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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