Vested interests, foreign NGOs spreading falsehood: Tata Power

Jan 13 2013, 15:24 IST
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Country's biggest private sector electricity producer Tata Power has accused entities with vested interests, along with some foreign NGOs, of spreading Country's biggest private sector electricity producer Tata Power has accused entities with vested interests, along with some foreign NGOs, of spreading "falsehood" about environmental issues at its flagship 4,000 MW Mundra project in Gujarat. (Reuters)
SummaryTata Power has accused entities with vested interests, along with some foreign NGOs, of spreading falsehood at its flagship.

Country's biggest private sector electricity producer Tata Power has accused entities with vested interests, along with some foreign NGOs, of spreading "falsehood" about environmental issues at its flagship 4,000 MW Mundra project in Gujarat.

"...there are some foreign agencies, some such type of NGOs, who in connivance with some elements have started to arm-twist us," Tata Power Managing Director Anil Sardana told PTI in an interview here.

Sardana said the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) has not violated any environmental norms and the company would not buckle under any criticism.

"It (criticism) has created a falsehood. That's all," he said in reply to queries on concerns raised over environmental issues related to the Mundra plant.

Tata Power's Mundra plant is the country's first UMPP and is being set up with an estimated investment of about Rs 20,000 crore.

"Reaction to appease these things (spreading falsehood) is not in our dictionary... Obviously, we will not do anything in that direction... (We will) do the right thing, that's it," he said.

Emphasising that it does not have any issues in getting things audited at Mundra UMPP, Sardana said everything that needs to be done in this regard has been done.

The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), an independent arm of the World Bank group, is assessing whether the investment in Mundra project is in compliance with various environmental and social norms.

World Bank Group's private lending agency, International Finance Corp (IFC), has invested USD 450 million in Mundra UMPP.

"It is very clearly a testimony of the fact that there are some elements which for their own vested interests are raking up an issue. It is the right of IFC to say that it is one of the lenders and would want to check it," Sardana said.

"We need to also understand that in this country, power project is not being set up for the first time. We need to also understand that we have been operating Trombay plant for the last 50 years," he added.

Mundra plant, fired by imported coal, is grappling with high fuel prices which are hurting its financial viability. Three 800 MW units are generating electricity, while the fourth unit was recently synchronised -- the final step before commissioning.

Tata Power, the country's largest private power producer with an installed capacity of 7,699 MW, has sought higher tariff for the plant and the issue is pending before the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).

Sardana said there have been several independent

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