Problems with local farm owners is forcing Suzlon Energy Ltd to shift close to 150 MW of new projects away from Maharashtra to Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the current financial year, according to Mr Tulsi Tanti, Chairman and Managing Director.
Mr Tanti said Suzlon is facing problems in Dhule (North Western Maharashtra) and Sangli (Western Maharashtra) districts in executing the projects. The local residents near the wind farms are not giving ‘right of way’ to Suzlon for constructing road and power lines for the facilities . The process of taking necessary permission is taking six months, which is casing inordinate delays, he said.
“Therefore, whatever projects we have planned in Maharashtra we have decided to shift those projects to other States in consultation with our clients,” he said.
Sources in the company familiar with the reasons also said that local residents in these areas are seeking exorbitant rates for selling their land for wind farms. The prices have increased by 20 times. The residents are also creating hurdles in the movement of extra large trucks and cranes needed for installing the 20-storey tall turbines.
44 turbines shut down
In April, 44 wind turbines in Sangli district had to be shut down following protests from local residents for more money. Of the 222 MW of installed capacity in Sangli, 74 MW was shut down. It was 34 per cent of the installed capacity. Suzlon had sought the State Government’s help in sorting out the issue.
It was only after the intervention of the Chief Minister that the matter was sorted out. Suzlon has installed wind turbines in 36 locations across the State with an installed capacity of 1,122 MW.
By Rahul Wadke
27 July 2007
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