Bihar fast-tracks nuclear power plant

Project back on track after state water resources department assures water availability from Phulwaria dam reservoir

By Alok Gupta
Published: Tuesday 03 June 2014

Nitish Kumar, who recently resigned from the post of chief minister of Bihar had announced that he would not contest election if the state does not becomes self reliant in power generation (photo courtesy Wikipedia) Bihar is sparing no effort to establish a nuclear power plant in the state. 

The proposal to set up the first power plant in eastern India was mooted sometime back. But the project at Rajauli in Nawada district ran into trouble last year because of non-availability of water.

With the state water resources department agreeing to provide 160 cusecs of water from the Phulwaria dam reservoir, the power project is back on track.

The state proposes to generate 1,400 MW power from the plant. The agreement letter from the water resources department has been sent to the Central Water Commission for final approval, said officials. The letter says water would be made available for the project.

The letter also promises to provide 12,785 cubic metre  water per hour for the plant through combined sources. “We are awaiting final approval from the Central Water Commission to take the next step,” HR Pandey, spokesperson for Bihar State Power Holding Company Ltd (BSPHCL), said.

The department has already identified 1,275 hectares (ha) of land for the proposed power plant near the dam. In May last year, a team from the Atomic Energy Commission of India had inspected the site and also took stock of the water availability. In 2007, a team from Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited had also visited the site and raised concerns over water availability for the plant.

The proposed plant would be constructed at a cost of Rs 22,400 crore.

BSPHCL has also started survey work for installing water pipelines for the power plant. A letter of intent has been issued for the survey.

Bihar has been facing acute power crisis in recent years. Former chief minister, Nitish Kumar, who recently resigned had announced that he would not contest election if Bihar does not becomes self reliant in power generation.


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