The state government has terminated the power purchase agreement for the Maheshwar power project, holding it as against public interest.
Along with this, the escrow agreement and the rehabilitation agreements for the project have also stand terminated.
The member of the Narmada Bachao Andolan Alok Agarwal informed that “This is a historic victory for the affected people of the Maheshwar project, who have been persistently fighting this destructive project for the last 23 years under the aegis of the NBA. The termination of the PPA will save Rs 42,000 crores of public money”.
For the last 23 years, people of the Maheshwar area have been persistently fighting against the destruction to be wrought by the Maheshwar project, under the leadership of the NBA.
He informed that on April 18, the Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Limited, issued a Termination Order to the project promoter Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Company Limited owned by the S Kumars group terminating the Power Purchase agreement executed between the State Government, MPSEB, and the project promoters in 1994.
The order states that the cost of Maheshwar power is abnormally high, above Rs 18 per unit, thus the project is unviable.
The order further states that since the cost of purchase of this expensive power from the Maheshwar project will be passed on to the public, expensive power purchase from this project is against public and consumer interest, thus the PPA is being terminated in public interest.
The Termination Order also states that the PPA is being terminated with immediate effect because of repeated failures of the S.Kumars to comply with crucial financial and technical deadlines and milestones, including ensuring timely commissioning of the project and infusion of monies by the S.Kumars, and breach of the manifold provisions of the PPA.
The Termination Order also cites the judgment dated March 12,2018 of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) directing the Central Government to carry out a forensic audit of the Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation Limited under the supervision of the CAG of India in order to unearth fraud and to punish those responsible.