Friday, July 04, 2008

Sikkim govt scraps three more hydel projects

GANGTOK: After discarding four hydel projects in March, the Sikkim government has scrapped three more such projects in the state accusing private developers of delaying execution of their contracts, a top government official said on Thursday.

"It has been decided to terminate the contract of three hydel projects, Sada-Mangder (71 mw) in West and South districts, Bhasmey (51 mw) in East district and Rongnichu (96 mw) in East district, due to the failure of the private developers to execute these projects on schedule," Power and Energy Department Secretary Pema Wangchen said.

The private developers, Gati Investments Ltd and Madhya Bharat Power Corporation Ltd, have been duly informed about the state government's decision to terminate the contract of the three power projects on grounds of delay in work execution, which, he said, had caused financial losses to the state exchequer.

The Sada-Mangder and Bhasmey hydel projects were awarded to Gati Investments Ltd in November 2003, while the Rongnichu hydel project was awarded to Madhya Bharat Power Corporation Ltd in March 2006, Wangchen said. The state government had earlier in March this year scrapped four other hydel projects in north Sikkim considering the sentiments of the indigenous Athup Lepcha tribe living in the area, who were launching agitations led by the Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT).

The Sikkim government had planned to develop 27 hydel projects on the embankment of the Teesta river with a power generation capacity of 5,500mw out of which seven projects have so far been scrapped.