Cong demands CBI probe into sanctioning of Kashipur plant



Dehra Dun: Alleging irregularities in the allotment of a gas-based power plant to a private company at Kashipur in Uttarakhand by the BJP government, the Congress on Wednesday demanded a CBI probe into the matter.

The state government gave undue benefits to Sravanthi Energy Private Limited while sanctioning the 225-MW plant, alleged senior Congress leader Harak Singh Rawat and party MLA Kishore Upadhyay.

The project was sanctioned in violation of norms which would cost the state exchequer Rs 4,000 crore in the next 30 years, they alleged at a press conference here.

As many as 46.75 acre of agriculture land was allotted for the project after approval by the industy department in gross violation of Union Forests and Environment Minister's clearance, they said.

The clearance allowed only 30 acres of non-agriculture land for industrial use, the two leaders said.

Alleging a big scam, they said the project was okayed by the state industry department to give benefits to Sravanthi Energy.

"If the Power Ministry has approved the project, the private company has to provide 12.5 per cent free electricity of the total production as royalty to the state.

"If we calculate the loss to the state exchequer in the next 30 years, it comes more to than Rs 4000 crore," said Rawat, the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly.

Moreover, the project was sanctioned without any gas-based power policy in the state, he said.

"The gas-based power policy has now been okayed by the state cabinet and has been sent to Raj Bhawan for approval," he said.

The two leaders asked the Pokhriyal Nishank government to recommend a CBI probe into the allotment and threatened to launch a stir if their demand was not met.

They also threatened to move the court if the probe was not ordered.

The two Congress leaders said though the Industry Department gave the nod for the project, the state government used the Power Ministry for getting exemption in customs duty for Sravanthi Energy.

"The Power Secretary wrote a letter to give exemption in customs duty for machines worth Rs 60-70 crore required for the project," they said.

The plant would require 4300 cubic meters of water every day which would make the land around it unsuitable for agriculture due to scarcity of water, the Congress leaders said.

They said the party had also sought appointments with Governor Margaret Alva and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.

PTI