No Nuclear Power For States That Oppose It: Power Minister

No Nuclear Power For States That Oppose It: Power Minister

States where governments or people oppose nuclear power projects are unlikely to get it, said Union power minister Piyush Goyal, toughening the Union government’s stand against opposition to nuclear power reactors. Tamil Nadu will get more power from the upcoming units 3 and 4 of the nuclear power reactor in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, the minister told reporters on Monday after meeting chief minister K Palaniswami at the secretariat.

“We are working on a new power allotment formula for states. When the Kudankulam units 3 and 4 are ready, Tamil Nadu will get more power. This was discussed during the meeting with the chief minister,” said Goyal. The minister assured the chief minister of allotting a separate coal block for Cheyyur thermal project. A special purpose vehicle will be floated for setting up an ultra mega thermal power project in Cheyyur with a total capacity of 4,000MW. There will be four units of 800MW each. The total cost of this project is Rs 18,000 crore and Tangedco will get 1,600MW once all four units are up and running.

The other issues which were discussed between Goyal and Palaniswami include a separate corridor for green power. “The green corridor was discussed and I can assure you Centre will do everything to extend cooperation for setting up a separate corridor for green power. I am happy to know that Tamil Nadu has surplus green power,” said the minister.

In the last three years, a transmission capacity of 3,450MW has been added and in 2020, the total transmission capacity for south India will be 18,000MW so that states can either evacuate power to other states or get power from other states.

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“Due to goods and service tax (GST), the coal tax rate has come down to 5% and because of this NLC will save Rs 508 crore each year. Similarly, Tangedco must also save money on purchase of coal. NLC will be allowed to use its old thermal unit till 2018,” said Goyal. On solar pumps for farmers, the minister said discussions were on with various people to provide solar pumps for farmers.

The minister said the meeting with the chief minister was fruitful and recalled that he sat on the “same chair in the same room” when he met former chief minister J Jayalalithaa last year. “It is only after my meeting with her, Tamil Nadu decided to join the Uday scheme,” said Goyal.

The minister said barring one state in the eastern region, all other states in the country have joined the Uday scheme. “The losses of Tangedco has fallen from Rs 14,000 crore to Rs 3,500 crore. This will help Tamil Nadu power consumers to get quality power,” said the minister.

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