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BW Businessworld

Out Of The Game

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Here's yet another negative story on the Commonwealth Games (CWG). Out of the five power projects that were supposed to be up and running in time for the CWG, four are sure to miss the deadline. The power plants had been planned in such a way that they would provide buffer power during the Games so that Delhi's power situation doesn't go awry.

The laggards are the 1,500-MW Jhajjar project being set up by Aravali Power Company (a joint venture between NTPC, Haryana Power Generation Co. and Indraprastha Power Generation Co.), the 1,500-MW Bawana project, which is being set up by the Delhi government, and two 1,000-MW projects of the Damodar Valley Corporation. The only face saver is the 980-MW Dadri power project by NTPC, which went online on 9 September.

To be fair, the CWG Organising Committee has nothing to do with the delays. In the case of the Damodar Valley Corporation projects, government officials say the delay is because of slow land acquisition. The Jhajjar and Bawana projects have excessive rains to blame. While the delay in Jhajjar could have been avoided had adequate preparation been taken to deal with rains, nothing could have been done at Bawana because the site simply got flooded.

The silver lining is that the projects are likely to be ready by November, immediately after the Games are over. The delay is only by a whisker. But it is like missing the flight by a minute.

Now the important question is: with these power projects missing their date with the Games, how much will the overload affect the power situation in Delhi?

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 04-10-2010)

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