Odisha: Congress fires Talcher delay salvo
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Srikant Jena on Sunday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not telling the truth about the revival process of the coal gasification-based fertiliser plant at Talcher. Jena said: “The BJP government should apologise to the people for delaying the project by almost four years. It was the UPA government that took all steps for the revival of the Talcher project.” He said: “The dismantling of the old fertiliser plant had begun during the UPA regime and the tender process had also been finalised. GAIL India had issued the tender for it. But the entire process has been delayed with an ill intention and the cost of the project has been escalated by Rs 5,000 crore.” He said: “All the fertilisers plants in the country had been closed down by the NDA government in 2000-2004. But later the UPA government had tried to revive the plants. Even we had paid Rs 11,000 crore to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) to get the Talcher project clear of all financial burden.” Jena said: “We had made the consortium with GAIL (India) Limited (GAIL), Coal India Limited (CIL), Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited (RCFL) and Fertiliser Corporation of India Limited (FCIL) for the revival of Talcher plant. Now the same practice has been adopted without even a single change. But the only difference is that the cost of revival of the project has gone up like anything.” Giving an insight to the financial cost involved in the project, he said: “Had the project had not been delayed, the coal gasification plant project would have been revived at a cost of Rs 8,000 crore. Now the cost of the project has reached Rs 13,000 crore. Who will bear the burden of Rs 5,000 crore?” Criticising Modi’s assurance that the project would start functioning within next 36 months, Jena said: “Had the project work not been delayed, it would have gone into production by 2017. There has been almost a four years’ delay.” Attacking Jena, BJP state vice-president Samir Mohanty said: “They conceive projects, but they abort quickly. The Congress leaders are never able to translate the plans into reality. Once Prime Minister Narendra Modi commits something, he ensures that it takes a concrete shape.” Maoist posters The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has launched a poster campaign in Raighar block of Maoist-infested Nabarangpur district appealing people to extend support to them in their fight against “police atrocity and denial of rights to tribal settlers”. The rebels of Menpur division have put up posters at several places of the block. Vigil has been intensified in the Maoist-hit district in view of the poster campaign by the outfit. Combing has also been stepped up. “The Maoist outfits have lost their base in the district. The poster campaign is perhaps a desperate campaign to revive their base. We are verifying the authenticity of the posters,” said a police officer.