Union Minister Petroleum and Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday sought the personal intervention of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over delay in approval for setting up of NTPC’s 1320-MW project worth Rs 9,785 crore in the State.

The Union Minister also raised his concern over the delay on the part of the State Government in giving its approval and support to big investment projects being proposed for the State by Oil PSUs, Nalco and NTPC.

In a letter to Patnaik, Pradhan said though the NTPC Board had approved Rs 9,785 crore investment for setting up of an additional state-of-the-art latest environment norms compliant power stations of 1320 MW at the existing location of NTPC, Talcher in recent past but it is still awaiting the approval from the High-Level Clearance Committee and single window clearance.

“The project has obtained land, water, environmental and other statutory clearances. But, being a large project it requires project clearance by High-Level Committee of the State Government. Unfortunately, NTPC is still awaiting approval of the HLC despite applying online for single window clearance on April 19, 2017,” Pradhan said.

“Lack of requisite clearances for such big-ticket investments will dampen the investment climate in the State and send a wrong signal to the investor community,” Pradhan said.

Maintaining that the proposed power project by NTPC is expected to make power available to the people of Odisha at a cheaper rate because of easy availability of coal and use of latest technology, Pradhan said it is critical for the life and economy of the area as the existing power generating units at the site are old and they might find themselves on the wrong side of stringent environment norms which would be devastating for the local economy.

“I request your personal intervention for speedy approval of the project by the HLC which send the right signals about ease of doing business in the State,” the Union Minister urged.