Ratnagiri Gas & Power Private Limited (Dabhol) power plant resumes operations
The Ratnagiri Gas & Power Pvt. Ltd. (RGPPL) commonly known as Dabhol power plant at Ratnagiri resumed its operations and began supply of electricity to railways recently. The plant saw its completion in the year 2001 with a capacity of 1967 MW electricity. It was built at a cost of 12000 crores and has been working on and off since its construction in 2001. After the original owners Enron, stepped out GAIL (Gas Authority of India Ltd.), Government of Maharashtra and NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd.) jointly floated RGPPL to revive the plant.
The plant with resumed operations is slated to supply power to the Indian Railways at Rs. 5.5-6.5/- unit compared to the Rs. 9/- unit that Railways currently pay. This will save them around 700 crores/- year and reduce their annual losses. The government will be able to better utilize this saved fund.
The plant will also boost generation of power in the state and the region which faces a shortage of power. This will help bring industries and jobs to the region. Also, the banks which have participated in the project will be able to recover their investments.
There have been political controversies and opposition to this project from the locals from the start fearing environmental issues that may rise from operations of the project. The release of hot water from the plant into the sea is of a concern to the local fishing communities. Also the diversion of available water resources for the project means the locals may get lesser water for drinking, farming and other activities.
The development of the industries and the progress of the state necessarily depends on adequate supply of power in the state. If proper steps are not taken, it would set a wrong precedent for development of similar projects in the future and the resistance and delays faced by such projects would be difficult to avoid. Hence it is always necessary to address the environmental and social issues and rehabilitate the project affected people in appropriate manner.
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