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Saturday, September 09, 2006

NTPC to set up nuclear power plant in Tuticorin

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has proposed to establish a nuclear power plant in the State, Electricity Minister Arcot N. Veerasamy, told The Hindu on Tuesday.

The State Government suggested to the NTPC that the plant be set up in or near Koodankulam, where an atomic power project was being implemented by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited.

As in the case of the one under construction, the proposed station would also be established with Russian technology. "The capacity of the plant too will be 2,000 MW and we have agreed to provide nearly 1,000 acres," Mr Veerasamy said, after commissioning a substation at Madampakkam, about 20 km south of Chennai.

Hans Raj Verma, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board chairman, said the NTPC had obtained licence to produce nuclear power.

The discussions on the proposed plant took place when NTPC Chairman and Managing Director T. Sankaralingam recently met the Electricity Minister and senior officials of the State Government here.

Pointing out that the first phase of the atomic power project would be commissioned in the current financial year, Mr. Veerasamy said it took nearly two decades for the execution of the project after overcoming resistance from a section of people. The NTPC chief had expressed interest in reviving a 2000-MW thermal power project at Cheyyur, about 100 km from Chennai. The State Government assured him that it would help the central power utility in getting necessary environmental clearance. To a query on the ultra mega power project in the State, Mr. Veerasamy said Ennore, Cuddalore and Tuticorin were the three possible sites.

A detailed proposal would be sent soon and the clearance from the Centre was expected before the end of the current financial year.

Earlier, addressing a function to mark the commissioning of the sub-station, Mr. Veerasamy, who is also in charge of Rural Industries, said Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told him that he would convene a meeting of officials in Chennai on Saturday to thrash out problems in disbursal of financial assistance under the Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana, under which twenty seven thousand and five hundred persons from the State would benefit this year.

Responding to a plea by Tambaram MLA S.R.Raja, the Electricity Minister said a sub-station would be established at Injambakkam to ensure reliable power supply in areas [along the East Coast Road] such as Kottivakkam, Neelankarai and Palavakkam. T.M. Anbarasan, Labour Minister, said the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Government was working for the welfare of the poor.

Source: The Hindu

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