Power ministry asks oil ministry to allocate gas to 10 power projects

However, the oil ministry may not provide gas to merchant power plants as it is of the view that domestic natural gas, which is cheaper than imported gas, should be supplied to companies that sell all power produced from the gas at regulated tariffs

New Delhi: The power ministry has asked the oil ministry to allocate gas to 10 power projects that are running at half of their generation capacity due to non-availability of the fuel, reports PTI.

“We have written to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas to provide 8 mmscmd (million metric standard cubic metres per day) of gas to 10 power projects in the country,” a power ministry official said.

The ten gas-based projects include both state-run and private projects, which are suffering due to a lack of fuel.

“These (10) projects are running at 50% capacity,” he added.

The power ministry has also communicated that around 3,500MW of gas-based capacity that was likely to be added during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) is stranded, as there has been no assurance from the oil ministry on fuel supply.

State-owned NTPC has slashed its gas-based capacity addition target by 5,000MW due to the shortage of gas. NTPC currently has a gas-based capacity of about 4,000MW.

“How can NTPC go-ahead with the capacity addition plan if there is no fuel available?” the official asked.

The oil ministry may not provide gas to merchant power plants as it is of the view that domestic natural gas, which is cheaper than imported gas, should be supplied to companies that sell all power produced from the gas at regulated tariffs.

Around 2 mmscmd of gas is required to fire a 500MW power plant.

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Goa govt told to furnish data on iron ore exported through MPT

The investigations pointed out that the ore was brought from Karnataka in the guise of blending it with local low-grade ore, which is non-consumable by the steel industry, and in fact exported through Mormugao Port even as Karnataka had banned the exports

Panaji: Armed with a report prepared by former Karnataka Lokayukta on illegal mining, Union ministry of mines has asked the Goa government to furnish data on the allegations that the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) used to export the iron ore even as the neighbouring state had banned the activity, reports PTI.

The officials in the state mines and geology department told PTI that the Union ministry in a recent meeting in Delhi asked the Goa government “to furnish details on the Karnataka ore exported through the state during the last five years”.

The Union ministry also asked the state officials to produce data on the quantum of Karnataka ore allegedly used for blending the local low-grade ore during the last five years.

The state mines and geology department will have to submit the data from year 2005, when demand in the Chinese market boosted the iron ore exports, till year 2011 when the mining scam came to the light.

Former Karnataka Lokayukta justice Santosh Hegde, who had blown the lid off the scam, claimed that 45 lakh tonnes of high grade ore was exported through Goa’s Mormugao Port Trust (MPT).

The investigations pointed out that the ore was brought from Karnataka in the guise of blending it with local low-grade ore, which is non-consumable by the steel industry, and in fact exported through the port even as Karnataka had banned the exports.

The Lokayukta report also questioned the export of high grade ore, as higher as 64 degree Fe from Goa port, when the state does not have such a kind of ore. Justice Santosh Hegde had told PTI that the local authorities were involved in the illegalities.

The ministry of mines which had taken up the matter seriously also decided to ask the railways ministry to give details of the ore brought through wagons from Karnataka to Goa.

“Indian Bureau of mines (IBM) would record the data,” the officials added.

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Govt declares Maruti stir illegal; to cancel registrations of unions

The Haryana government’s labour department has declared the strike called by workers of Maruti Suzuki India, Suzuki Powertrain India and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd illegal. Besides, it has initiated a process for the cancellation of the unions of SPIL and SMIPL

Chandigarh/New Delhi: Taking a tough stand against the ongoing agitation at Suzuki’s Indian entities, the Haryana government on Wednesday declared the strike illegal and initiated process to cancel registrations of unions at Suzuki Powertrain and Suzuki Motorcycle, reports PTI.

The department has declared the strike called by workers of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), Suzuki Powertrain India (SPIL) and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) illegal, an official release said here yesterday.

Besides, a process has been initiated for the cancellation of the unions of SPIL and SMIPL, it added.

When contacted, a labour department official told PTI: “The workers have not replied to the notice issued against them for the violation of settlement agreement signed on 1 October and hence a prosecution will be filed against them in the court.”

Since the strike has been declared illegal, the police has been given the power to evict the workers from the factory, he added.

On 10th October, the labour department slapped a notice on workers for “breach of settlement” that was signed on 1st October to end the 33-day-long impasse and asked them to respond within the next 48 hours.

When contacted, Suzuki Powertrain India Employees Union (SPIEU) president Sube Singh Yadav said: “We have not heard about any such development. If the government has taken this step, then now we will not end our strike till our union is registered again”
Suzuki Motorcycle India Employees Union (SMIEU) president Anil Kumar said the union is scheduled to meet labour department officials on Thursday and it will discuss the issue then.

These decisions were taken in a meeting on Wednesday that was attended by police commissioner SS Deswal, labour commissioner Satwanti Ahlawat, deputy commissioner PC Meena, joint commissioner of police Alok Mittal, additional labour commissioner Nitin Yadav and deputy commissioner of police (East) Maheshwar Dayal.

It was also decided in the meeting that movement of men and material in all the three plants should be free and workers sitting on strike inside the plants have been advised to vacate the premises immediately so that a conducive atmosphere of negotiations can be created.

The workers have been advised to sit outside the plant after taking due permission from the administration, the statement said.

Workers at MSI’s Manesar plant went on stay-in strike on 7th October afternoon completely affecting production at the plant, demanding reinstatement of over 1,000 casual workers and 44 permanent employees, who were suspended during the standoff that started on 29th August.

Simultaneously, workers at SPIL and SMIPL have gone on strike in support of their colleagues at MSI Manesar plant.

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