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Power companies asked to seek defence nod via nodal ministries only

According to reports, to ensure a proper check on credentials of power projects and their developers, Defence Ministry has sought routing of applications seeking its clearance for the proposed facilities through the concerned ministries only.

Subsequently, the Defence Ministry would not entertain any applications unless they are routed through the Power Ministry or the New and Renewable Energy Ministry, as per the nature of the project.

This has been communicated by the Defence Ministry to the two other ministries after being flooded with defence clearance applications directly from a number of private sector and PSU developers for their respective projects.

“It has been decided that Ministry of Defence will now accept the applications for grant/renewal of defence clearance for construction of power projects (hydel, thermal, solar, wind and gas) through nodal ministries only in order to verify credentials/ bonafide of the projects and the developers/ proponents,” the communique said.

In a majority of cases, applications for defence clearances are submitted directly by the companies — both public sector and private — without keeping the nodal ministries in the picture, it added.

For hydel projects, developers would be required to provide details of likely areas getting submerged due to the proposed plant as well as the impact on number of roads and infrastructure.

Besides, the hydel project developers would have to furnish plans for reconstruction of affected roads and other infrastructure.

Power projects that are coming up near areas of defence activities and in border areas, among others, require defence clearance.

Currently, India has an installed power generation capacity of more than 2,25,000 MW, out of which thermal projects make up for over 1,55,000 MW.

In the current Five-Year Plan period (2012-17), plans are on the anvil to add more than 80,000 MW.

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