The Power Minister of Assam, Topon Kumar Gogoi, visited the New Namrup Replacement Power Project on Monday and later held a meeting at the Namrup Thermal Power Station (NTPS) guest house auditorium in Namrup with officials to discuss threadbare why so many “mishaps” are happening in the process to implement the said power project.
The State Power Minister, Topon Gogoi, and the Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, has formed an inquiry committee to probe as to why “accidents are happening with so much of frequency” and has asked the committee to submit its findings by July 18 next.
The new Namrup Replacement Power Project (NRPP) 100 MW foundation stone was laid by the former Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi, on February 9, 2009 at an estimated cost of Rs 564 crores. The project was handed over to the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and it was all set to get rolling to generate 100 MW of power by January 2012.
It is reported that while the project was still in progress, a lot of “mishaps” occurred – the boundary wall collapsed, short circuits destroyed the control room where two boards of the Automatic Voltage Regulator Panel Board worth crores were destroyed and the rotor shaft of the machine got immobilised.
So far, the expenditure of the 100 MW project and the machines have reportedly come to around Rs 200 crore. The project seems totally “jinxed” – while final touches were being given to the multi chamber modern technology in-built of the new replacement project, the 60 ft long roof of the steam generator building got completely destroyed. Reliable sources stated that the cost of the roof will alone come to Rs 15 crore.
The ‘roof mishap’ happened on July 9 last. On July 10 last, few local organisations of Namrup and nearby areas gheraoed the office of the General Manager of NTPS and demanded “stern action” against the “erring engineers”. In the meeting held on Monday at the NTPS Guest House Auditorium, the Power Minister minced no words while saying that “strict action” will be taken against everybody involved in the project – starting from the local contractor, ground level contractor to the top officials of BHEL and Assam Power Generation Company Limited (APGCL).
An investigative team will be formed where members will not be from APGCL or BHEL. This committee will scan the project intensively. The committee will comprise civil quality control and a technical expert panel who will check the machineries, parts, equipment and land tolerance capacity. The committee will decide whether the power project is in a position to go on stream or will it be abandoned?
The Namrup chapter of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the State Workers’ Power Union submitted memoranda to the State Power Minister during the course of the meeting. The meeting was attended by the MP of Dibrugarh Legislative Assembly, Rameshwar Teli, APGCL Managing Director, Kalyani Boruah and Saitendra Choudhury, General Manager NTPS, Namrup.