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Proposed Khurja coal power plant overpriced, threat to Delhi’s air quality: IEEFA

The Khurja proposal relies on a prohibitively expensive 900-km-long rail haul to bring coal to the plant. Additionally, the market price of coal continues to increase globally.

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New Delhi, Oct 23 : The state-run THDCIL’s proposed Khurja coal power plant in Uttar Pradesh would not only push up the cost of electricity at a time when renewable energy options are cheaper but will also be a threat to Delhi’s air quality, a report said on Tuesday.

THDCIL, formerly known as Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd, is a joint venture of the Central and Uttar Pradesh governments with a 75:25 equity sharing ratio.

Releasing the report titled “The Khurja Thermal Power Project: A Recipe for an Indian Stranded Asset”, the US-based the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) recommended that the 1,320 MW proposal should be re-evaluated against severe air pollution levels in Delhi.

Also, the real threat of government financing wasted on another expensive stranded asset, increasingly cheaper renewable energy options and India’s ambitious sustainable energy goals.

The Khurja project entails an investment of Rs 12,676 crore. While the first unit is scheduled to be commissioned in November 2022, the second unit would go on steam in April 2023.

The electricity users — the state and central governments — and project’s lenders should not be burdened with yet another expensive stranded asset at a time when local residents need cleaner energy options, IEEFA Director of Energy Finance Studies Tim Buckley told reporters here.

“Delhi already has the dubious reputation of having the worst air pollution of any city in the world. If the Khurja coal plant is built as planned near Delhi, this will increase the impact on local residents, emergency workers and the local government.

“The Khurja power plant was feasible when first proposed eight years ago in response to power supply shortages and outages across northern India, but technology has moved on,” he said.

According to Buckley, renewable energy generation in India is now cheaper than Khurja’s non-minemouth coal, with ongoing price declines prompting states, including Uttar Pradesh, to seek solar and wind options to meet incremental demand growth.

“The Khurja proposal relies on a prohibitively expensive 900-km-long rail haul to bring coal to the plant. Additionally, the market price of coal continues to increase globally,” he said.

“Our analysis shows any power generated at the Khurja plant would likely be sold for Rs 5.67 per kilowatt hours, while renewable energy prices today are only plus or minus Rs 3 per kilowatt hours.

“The economics of the project look dim. The Khurja proposal must be re-evaluated,” Buckley said.

Kashish Shah, IEEFA Energy Research Associate and co-author of the report, said India’s ambition to sustain double digit economic growth hinges on improving energy security and reducing the cost of power and that requires sensible investment.

“India is aiming to achieve 40 per cent of its electricity generation needs by 2030 from non-fossil fuel sources including wind and solar. As a coal-fired power station takes significant time to ramp up power generation, the Khurja power station cannot help with grid stabilisation and peak demands, one of the new requirements of the Paris commitments,” Shah told IANS.

“As the share of renewable energy options increase, India will need additional firming capacity and wider national grid inter-connectivity to integrate increasing amounts of variable solar and wind generation, and prevent frequency and voltage fluctuations that adversely affect grid stability.

“The long delayed, excessively expensive and redundant Khurja project should be cancelled before it becomes another expensive stranded asset in India,” he added.

IANS

India

Congress summons Telangana leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy miffed over ticket denial

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Hyderabad, Nov 17 : The Congress party’s central leadership on Saturday summoned senior leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy to New Delhi hours after he expressed resentment over being denied ticket to contest next month’s elections to Telangana Assembly.

With his name missing from the third list of the candidates released by the party on Saturday, Shashidhar Reddy blamed party’s state president Uttam Kumar Reddy. He alleged that Uttam Kumar misled the screening committee by stating that he will not win the election.

Addressing a news conference, Shashidhar expressed surprise over reports that Congress has left Sanathnagar seat to its ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) under the seat-sharing agreement. He said TDP never demanded this seat.

Shashidhar Reddy urged the leadership to reconsider its decision before Monday. He also said that he will take a decision in tune with the wishes of his supporters and people of the constituency.

Son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Marri Chenna Reddy, Shashidhar was elected to the assembly four times from Sanathnagar. He had lost 2014 election.

Earlier in the day, Congress announced third list of candidates for December 7 election to 119-member Assembly. The list comprising 13 candidates include former minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah, who was miffed at being ignored in the first two lists.

The leadership announced his name after persuading its ally Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) to give up its claim for Jangaon, a constituency Ponnala had been contesting from for last three decades.

With the third list, Congress has so far announced 88 candidates. It is likely to declare six more candidates on Sunday as the party has agreed to leave remaining 25 seats for its allies – 14 for TDP, 8 for TJS and 3 for Communist Party of India (CPI).

In a related development, TJS on Saturday announced four candidates.

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Delhi University expels Ankiv Baisoya

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New Delhi, Nov 17: Delhi University top officials are tight-lipped, but Delhi Police have confirmed receiving communication from the university saying that it has expelled Ankiv Baisoya after he was found guilty of faking his educational certificates.

“We got the information from Delhi University that his (Baisoya) admission has been cancelled. We wrote to the university asking them to send us a verification report that they got from the Thiruvalluvar University and told them to lodge a proper complaint so that we can proceed further,” a senior police officer said.

“We sent the letter to the Registrar the same day. We got the letter in the evening on November 15, the day Baisoya’s admission was cancelled,” the officer told IANS.

He said he was forwarded the letter sent to the Registrar by the head of the Buddist Department where Baisoya was admitted.

Sources said the police was informed of the cancellation after the university got a letter from the Thiruvalluvar University Registrar confirming that Baisoya was never a student of that university.

Delhi University Registrar Tarun Das and Proctor Neeta Sehgal could not be contacted for confirmation.

Baisoya, who was elected as the DU students union President two months back, said on Facebook on November 15, the day he was expelled, that he was resigning his post.

Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student group to which he belonged, too, suspended Baisoya on November 15, asking him to step down from the DUSU post.

Baisoya has been expelled for submitting fake documents from Thiruvalluvar University at Vellore in Tamil Nadu to secure admission in Delhi University where he was a student of Buddhist Studies.

IANS

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Disaster

Cyclone Gaja: Death toll in Tamil Nadu reaches to 33

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Chennai, Nov 17: The death toll due to cyclonic storm Gaja, which hit coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, has reached to 33, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said on Saturday.

Addressing media at Salem, Palaniswami stated that 20 men, 11 women, and 2 children died due to the cyclone that crossed the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam districts between 12.30 a.m. and 2.30 a.m. on Friday.

The cyclone left a trail of destruction in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Cuddalore, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts.

Due to the cyclone, 70 livestock and several goats, poultry and deer have also died.

Some 127,000 trees were uprooted by the strong cyclonic winds that touched a maximum speed of about 120 kmph, the Chief Minister added.

The state government is distributing water, milk and food to the people affected by the calamity.

About 177,500 people are staying in 351 relief camps in the cyclone-affected areas.

According to the Chief Minister, about 30,000 electricity poles were broken, and 105 power sub-stations affected.

About 10,000 personnel have deployed in the cyclone-affected coastal districts to repair the installations.

WeForNews 

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