The lone major port of Odisha achieved this milestone for the sixth successive year.
Inordinate delay in completing the solar power project in Paradip port has been brought strong resentment among all stakeholders including port workers, employees and trade union leaders.
The contract agency entrusted with the installation has also stopped work. In 2016, central government had proposed to implement utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant projects at various major ports across the country.
The step is part of the Green Port Initiative launched by the Union Ministry of Shipping aiming to reduction in carbon emissions and consequently improving environment besides reducing cost of power purchased from grid by utilisation of solar power for power generation.
As per the provision, it had been decided that the Indian Ports Association (IPA) is to involve with project planning while the concerned port has to arrange the funds for establishment of solar power projects from their own resources.
Paradip Port Trust (PPT) had proposed to set up its own 20MW solar energy park on 90 acres of compact and contiguous land. PPT had decided to start this plant in phase manner as result PPT had been estimated Rs 75 crore for first phase work for installing 10MW capacity plant. It spent money in sand filling, fencing and other such work.
The government-run Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) had been pressed into service to provide technical expertise.On the other hand, Surana Solar Ltd, Hyderabad based bidder which had been awarded an EPC and operations and maintenance contract for 10 MW solar power plant by PPT in 2016 has been stopped its work causing delay for installation of said plant.
While the EPC contract awarded valued at Rs 60.60 crore, the Operations and Maintenance works for 10 years was worth Rs 4.75 crore. The solar plant was scheduled to be completed by August 2017. But there is no progress till date.
When contacted, Chairman of PPT Mr Rinkesh Ray said ‘ the concerned bidder failed to complete the work so PPT has terminated the contract and initiated steps to provide the work through fresh bids.
He said since land was scare, the PPT has decided not to spare 90 acres for the project and has sought opnion from experts to install rooftop solar power projects.