The Allahabad High Court's decision to restore the rights of farmers to protest acquisition of their land for Dadri power plant neither dilutes the commitment to the project nor is it a setback, Reliance Power said Friday.
Reacting to the court's judgment upholding Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act to restore farmers' right to protest land acquisitions, the company hoped the state government would take immediate steps to acquire land for the 7,480 MW gas-based project.
"It is surprising and shocking our corporate rivals are, as usual, distorting the scope and effect of the judgment of the honourable high court and spreading malicious and false information through their known public relations agencies," Reliance Power chief executive J.P. Chalasani said.
"The project will be the world's largest gas-based power plant at a single location with an investment outlay of over Rs.25,000 crore. The company has in place all approvals and clearances required for the project," Chalasani said in a teleconference call.
He said the high court has only asked the state government to follow certain procedures in the land acquisition process, and that land owners, who wish to raise objections, are required to refund the compensation received by them.
"Thereafter, the government will decide on their objections," he said in the call intended in the interests of over 11 million shareholders of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, of which Reliance Power is a part.
Reliance Power had signed an agreement with the Uttar Pradesh government in June 2004, under which the state was to acquire 2,500 acres of land and provide it to the company for implementation of the project.
The project has been planned at the Dhirubhai Ambani Energy City in Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, on the outskirts of the city, to supply electricity not only to the state but also neighbouring cities like New Delhi.
The Anil Ambani Group is fighting a legal battle in the Supreme Court to secure some 28 million units of gas per day for the project at $2.34 per unit for 17 years. The Bombay High Court had earlier ruled in Anil Ambani Group's favour.
The company has blamed the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries for the delay in implementation of the project, as the later had failed to extent a bankable agreement for the former to arrange for the finances to fund the ambitious power plant.