The Delhi Cabinet has given an in-principal approval for setting up the 750-MW Pragati-II power plant at Bamnauli,a project that has been under discussion for a long time.
The Bamnauli project is integral to the Delhis governments plan of making the Capital a power surplus state.
At present,Delhi generates less than one-third of its total power requirement. The Cabinet approval,in fact,is a mere formality,with the details of the proposed gas-based plant ironed out a few months ago.
The Cabinet has also recommended to the Empowered Group of Ministers that 3.5 million standard cubic metres per day of gas be allocated to the project. A decision is yet to be taken on the matter.
The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has been appointed project management consultant on conditions similar to the ones on the Bawana power project.
Significantly,a penalty clause has been inserted in the project agreement to avoid the kind of delays that often haunt largescale power projects. In a briefing after the Cabinet meeting,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said once the project is commissioned,it will make power supply in Dwarka and the IGI Airport more reliable.
The Cabinet also approved the closing of the Rajghat power plant,another plan that has been in the offing for nearly two years. The power plant,located at Indraprastha,is considered inefficient,too costly to maintain and too close to the city centre.
The coal-based plant was set up in 1989,and currently generates merely 130 MW,a drop in the ocean compared to Delhis peak power demand of over 4,800 MW. At Mondays meeting,it was decided that as soon as the Bawana plant starts generating power,curtains will close on the Rajghat plant.
The 46 acres occupied by the plant will be used to set up a city forest,a parking cluster for buses and converting the existing railway line into a cycling track.
The Indraprastha Gas Corporation Limited is also being restructured into a green energy company. It will now be renamed as the Delhi Renewable Energy and Power Company.