NTPC has requested the power ministry to settle the reimbursement pending to the utility for Loharinag Pala hydroelectric project, consequent to the discontinuation of the project by the Central government.
An Empowered Committee was formed by the power ministry in 2011, to facilitate settlement of claims, deal with project site safety measures and suggest modalities of transfer of project to the Uttarakhand government.
An amount of Rs. 536.30 crore including IDC of Rs. 28.65 crore up to December 2011 was approved in first phase to minimize increase in IDC during Empowered Committee meeting in June 2012. Since the above amount is yet to be received by NTPC, the IDC component continues to accumulate, as the loan component is yet to be liquidated. Hence, the release of approved amount by power ministry needs to be got expedited, NTPC has asserted.
NTPC stated that various contractors engaged in Loharinag Pala project work have raised claims against NTPC for compensation consequent to suspension and subsequent discontinuation of project by and have gone for arbitration. Arbitral Tribunal in two cases have pronounced the award of Rs. 65.74 crore and Rs. 29.85 crore along with interest thereon on delayed payment in favour of contractors.
Since contractors claim amount is finally to be reimbursed by the Government of India, NTPC requested the power ministry to advise guidelines to be adopted on conclusion of contractors claims including arbitral awards. Further, it also asked the ministry to nominate a representative to advise NTPC while dealing legal proceedings with adjudicators, arbitrators and courts.
NTPC also mentioned that expenses, including legal expenses, being incurred by NTPC on contesting the claims in arbitration, also need to be reimbursed by the Government of India, as being part of expenses for winding up of Loharinag Pala Project.