CEA identify two sites in Bihar for India’s next UMPP with no environmental restrictions
The Central Electricity Authority has recommended setting up of Bihar’s first 4,000 MW ultra mega power project at Kakwara in Banka district, saying that there are no environmental issues related to the chosen site.
The decision to zero-in on Kakwara after CEA, the apex planning body for the country’s power sector, came after field visits recently to two potential sites for a UMPP -Kakwara and Rajouli in Nawada district.
The Kakwara site located in Banka district appears to be suitable for setting up the UMPP,” CEA has said in its report.
The recommendation is based on assessment of various techno-economic aspects of the project site. The main factors cited for preferring the Kakwara site include sufficient availability of land, no forest land and wildlife issues.
Recently, a team of CEA and Power Finance Corp (PFC) along with state government officials inspected two sites to explore the possibility of having a UMPP in Bihar – one of the states that is facing significant electricity shortage.
As per the report, there are no ecologically sensitive areas or wildlife within 15 km from the site.
Also, it said: “The identified land is free from forest area… There is no major land under agriculture except small patches of rain fed farming in just 50-100 acre of land.
“The families likely to be affected by the project would be about 70. No major R&R (Resettlement & Rehabilitation) issues are involved.”
Fuel supply for the project is proposed to be sourced from Rajmahal group of coal fields in Jharkhand. The coal requirement for the plant is estimated to be around 18 to 20 million tonnes per annum.
The report has also observed that as the Ganga is an international river and there is an agreement between India and Bangladesh for it sharing, the water allocation for the UMPP might have to be vetted by the Water Resources Ministry.
As part of efforts to increase electricity generation in the country, the government plans to to set up 16 UMPPs in the country. Out of them, four have already been awarded.
PFC is the nodal implementing agency for UMPPs.