Search This Blog

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sharad Pawar slams greens, bats for Adani

TNN | Jan 28, 2013, 07.01 AM IST Subhendu counters Jairam Ramesh remarks at JangalmahalAnti-women politicians should NAGPUR: NCP chief and union agriculture minister SharadPawar batted for Gujarat-based industrial house Adani Group, whose coal mines near Tadoba tiger reserve were cancelled due to concerns over tiger habitat being disturbed. Speaking at a conference organized by Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) on Saturday, he expressed disagreement with the decision by former minster of environment and forests JairamRamesh, during whose regime the allocation of coal blocks was cancelled. Adani is coming up with a power plant at Gondia which is also the electoral constituency of union heavy industries minister Praful Patel and a key NCP leader. Pawar said he had worked hard to ensure that the Adani Group's sets up the power plant in Gondia. "I met Gautam Adani with Praful Patel in Gondia. He said his company had inked a pact to supply power at Rs2.25 a unit to the state government owned MSEDCL for the next 25 years. I wondered how could they calculate the expenditure for such a long period. Adani said he was banking on the coal mines allotted to his company close to the plant. I coordinated with officials in Mumbai to speed up other things. However, environmentalists scuttled the project in the name of tiger conservation by cancelling the mines," said Pawar. The NCP boss countered the stance of environmentalists that the mine would harm the tiger habitat by saying that the blocks were quite far from the forest. The cancellation of mines has forced the company to import coal from Australia, leading to the calculations doing haywire and the company suffering a quarterly loss of Rs850 crore, Pawar added. Batting for other units in the power sector too, he came down hard on those opposing concentration of power plants in the region. "There is no need for a hue and cry over power plants siphoning away water meant for irrigation or creating pollution when hardly three of over 20 in the region are operational," he said. At the same time he also spoke of discouraging industries in Western Maharashtra, where there is a concern over excessive use of water by industries, especially when the region is reeling under a drought. "It is now the turn of areas like Vidarbha, Marathwada and Khandesh to see industrial development," he said. He said politics of sabotage has also hit the irrigation projects of Vidarbha, referring to the Gosikhurd dam. "A series of complaints have now stopped funds for this project. I will hold a meeting with minister of water resources soon to sort out the issue," he said. Curiously, he also praised Narendra Modi in a passing mention, saying that he would always cut across party lines when it came to the state's development.

No comments:

Post a Comment