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Raghunathpur (West Bengal), Dec 16 (IANS) The Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) is planning to commission the first 600MW unit of its around Rs.15,000-crore Raghunathpur power project in Purulia district by early 2013, a senior official said here Sunday.
The project, about 250 km from Kolkata, will be completed in two phases. The first phase, comprising two units of 600MW each at an estimated cost of Rs.6,000 crore, is planned to be commissioned in two stages by 2013.
The second phase, also having two units with a capacity of 660MW each, involves an investment between Rs.9,000-10,000 crore. It is expected to be operational by 2017.
"The first unit (in the project's first phase) - the first supercritical thermal power plant in (West) Bengal - will be commissioned by the end of this fiscal (March 31, 2013) or early next fiscal," said J.K. Singh, chief engineer of Raghunathpur Thermal Power Station (RTPS).
"The second unit will be commissioned six months after commissioning of the first unit," Singh said on the sidelines of the foundation-laying ceremony of the second phase of RTPS.
The first phase of the project has been delayed by nearly two years mainly owing to the non-availability of land for building the water pipeline for the project from Panchet Dam, about 10 km from the plant site.
"We hope that the problem of land acquisition would be settled. The project has been delayed because of the delay in construction of water corridor and rail corridor," DVC chairman R.N. Sen said.
Senior DVC officials said despite the acquisition of 90 percent of the 52 acre land required for the water pipeline, the physical construction of the pipeline is faced with opposition from locals.
The land required for both the phases is about 2,098 acres.
Though most of the land has already been acquired for the project, except what is required for rail connectivity and the water pipeline, officials say it is not possible to provide employment to all the land losers, despite such a clamour from the locals.
"There are about 2,200 land losers at the moment and their number is going to increase as land is acquired for ensuring water connectivity and rail connectivity," said Singh, adding it was not possible to provide jobs to every land loser.
The foundation stone for the second phase of the project was laid by union Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia Sunday.