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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Damodar Valley Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2011

The Damodar Valley Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2011

The motion for consideration of the Bill was moved by Shri Sushil Kumar
Shinde.
The following members took part in the debate:-
1. Shri Uday Singh
2. Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
3. Shri Shailendra Kumar
4. Shri Gorakhnath Pandey10
5. Shri Kalyan Banerjee
6. Prof. Sk. Saidul Haque
7. Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh
8. Shri Arjun Charan Sethi
9. Shri Prabodh Panda
10. Dr. Tarun Mandal
11. Shri Ravindra Kumar Pandey
12. Shri Prasanta Kumar Majumdar

Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde replied to the debate.
The motion for consideration moved by Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde was adopted
and clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill was taken up.
Clauses 2 to 7 were adopted. Clause 1, the Enacting Formula and the Long
Title were also adopted. The motion that the Bill be passed was moved by
Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde.
The motion was adopted and the Bill was passed.

Debate in Parliament

DAMODAR VALLEY CORPORATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2011

THE MINISTER OF POWER (SHRI SUSHILKUMAR SHINDE) moving the
motion for consideration said: The Damodar Valley Corporation Act came into
force on 7th July, 1948 on the lines of the Tennessee Valley Authority in
USA. The functions of the Corporation are promotion and operation of
schemes for irrigation, water supply and drainage, the generation,
transmission and distribution of electrical energy, afforestation and
control of soil erosion, promotion of public health etc., in the Damodar
Valley and its area of operation. At present, as per Section 4 of the said
Act, Board consists of a Chairman and two other part-time Members (one each
from Governments of Jharkhand and West Bengal). Over the last more than 60
years, a number of changes have taken place in the activities of Damodar
Valley Corporation and it has grown into a large generating company with its
own transmission and sub-transmission network. The Ministry of Power in the
year 2000 appointed the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) to
examine various alternative models for restructuring DVC. Based on the
recommendations of ASCI it was decided to amend the sub-section (1) of
Section 4 of the Act relating to constitution of Corporation
(Board). To incorporate these changes, it has been proposed to amend
section 4, section 6, section 7, section 8, section 44 and section 59 of the
DVC Act.

SHRI UDAY SINGH: I wonder why the Ministry of Power at all controls the
Damodar Valley Corporation. This project envisaged in 1948 on the lines of
the Tennessee Valley Corporation in the United States was a multi-purpose
river valley project. Power generation was only one of the major tasks that
it was charged with. The others were much more important tasks. So, over a
period of time, the Damodar Valley Corporation has become just
another electricity producing enterprise. What we now find is that since
1948, even the original plan of the Damodar Valley Corporation has not been
fully implemented. The initial plan was to have seven dams. Only four dams
have been made. Even those four dams do not have the capacity to hold the
excess water. With the result, large parts of the West Bengal get flooded
every year. I also do not see logic in their being only part-time members
from the States of Jharkhand and West Bengal. The Damodar Valley
Corporation either falls in the territory of West Bengal or in the territory
of Jharkhand. Therefore, the District Administration really calls the shot
and it is severely curtailed from having the administrative arm to do all
this.
Power generation by itself is a very important thing. But as far as the DVC
is concerned, I would request the Government to re-look at the original plan
for the Damodar Valley Corporation and go back to what it was supposed to be
doing. I do not know why the dams are not being made; I do not why the
rivers are not being desilted; I do not know why the environmental control
measures are not being put in place; and I do not know why the DVC itself is
not increasing its expenditure on the corporate social responsibility.
Why the District Administration cannot be roped in? Why schemes like
NREGA etc., cannot become part of the Charter of the DVC? These are very
important suggestions that we are making. I would like the hon. Minister to
respond to these suggestions; and if possible to implement them. Really
speaking, the DVC has failed in doing what it was supposed to do.

SHRI ADHIR CHOWDHURY: Damodar valley is a multi-purpose river project.
Therefore, when it was conceived, it was stated that the Damodar Valley
Corporation was a deemed State with welfare functions attached to it but now
it is being recognized as a mere power utility. It is an infringement upon
the status of Damodar Valley Corporation. Through this proposed
legislation, it appears that Damodar Valley Corporation is going to
undertake a structural overhauling of its administration. The crux of the
problem in regard to Damodar Valley Corporation lies in the dearth of
capital fund in this sector. There lies the nub. The primary source of
equity of the DVC was the participating Government - the Central Government,
State Governments of Bihar and West Bengal, the State Government of
Jharkhand. These are all the participating Governments, who have stopped to
pay their contribution since 1968-69. That means, that primary source of
equity of the Damodar Valley Corporation has been choked. The secondary
source of equity of Damodar Valley Corporation was the internal resources
generated out of operations. As per Section 14 of the Electricity Act,
2003, the DVC shall be deemed to be a licensee under this Act. Therefore,
the revenue generation of this organization has been restrained and the DVC
has not been able to generate adequate revenue to meet the capital
expenditure of this organization. Moreover, it has been brought under
multiple regulatory frameworks. Thereby it has lost its independence to
generate revenue to meet its capital expenditure. The Damodar Valley
Corporation has already taken up the generation of more than 8000 MW by
the year 2012. But, there is a serious dearth of capital fund for this
organization. If this situation continues, how DVC will be able to reach its
target? DVC is such a corporation that is still providing the livelihood to
11000 employees in addition to 14000 pensioners. That is why, we are all
very much concerned for the survival of DVC. I would earnestly urge the
hon. Minister that right now Rs.5000 crore capital needs to be infused into
this Corporation so that it can complete the outstanding projects.
Moreover, DVC be accorded the special status, so that it can tap the fund
from equity market?

SHRI SHAILENDRA KUMAR: I would like to draw the attention of the hon.
Minister that seven more such projects which are still lying pending. One
is in Meja area in Allahabad where a thermal power plant was proposed to be
set up. One is in Solapur, Maharashtra and there are five other projects
which are lying pending even to date. Today the country is facing acute
shortage of power and this is hampering our production and developmental
work. We are not able to maintain smooth supply of power.
The acquisition of land for the Damodar Valley project started in 1954 and
4000 people were displaced due to this project. But these people have so
far not been rehabilitated. The people who were displaced due to the
Hirakund Dam in Sambhalpur are agitating even today. Similarly, people in
Himachal Pradesh who were displaced due to the Renuka Dam are taking to
streets. More than 50,000 people were displaced there but none of them has
been rehabilitated till today. I want that the points on which the
attention of the Government has been drawn should be provided special
attention. There are several cases pending in Court. The Government should
plead for the displaced people and should help them in getting compensation.

SHRI GORAKHNATH PANDEY: The Damodar Valley Corporation Act had been enacted
sixty years ago in 1948 to control floods, generate power, solve the
problems of irrigation and drinking water, secure soil by constructing
earthern embankments and tree plantation in West Bengal, Bihar and
Jharkhand. It is imperative to carry out timely assessments of a
corporation, project or mechanism to ensure its smooth, functioning.
Therefore, I support the bill introduced by the hon. Minister to amend the
provisions of the DVC. Besides, I would also like to draw the attention of
the Government towards mega project in the district Allahabad. Given proper
attention it can do miracles in many districts. Usually we conceive a
project, start work on that, spend huge funds in it and all of a sudden, due
to some reasons it gets delayed. In those circumstances, we need to pay
special attention on that project. There are a number of projects like
Anpara, Obra and Rihand in my Constituency Bhadohi and nearby districts.
These projects generate power but the Central Government obtain that power
and sells it to our state dearly. I wish that the state which generates
power, should get benefit from it. This Bill is commendable but the
Government should make efforts to get other seven pending bills cleared.
The Central Government in particular, should ensure the power supply in
adequate quantity to Uttar Pradesh.

SHRI KALYAN BANERJEE: In the last sixty years, there is a large scale
operation of the Damodar Valley Corporation mostly in south Bengal and
Jharkhand. Now, in order to increase the hold of water, time is ripe to
think to modernize the dams of the DVC. It was because of the behaviour of
some irresponsible officers, water was released during the rainy season.
It mainly affected the two major districts of West Bengal, Burdwan and
Hoogly. But unfortunately no one from the DVC ahs ever gone to that place,
nor has anyone extended any help to them. Please look into that and think
about the modernization of the dam. Another irresponsible behaviour of the
DVC is in the field of the land acquisition cases. A large number of cases
are there where the lands have been taken and assurance was given to provide
employment. Unfortunately, the employment has not been given and they are
litigating in the Court. Corporate social responsibility is really very
poor. I request the hon. Minister to look into the environmental problem
which can be faced mainly in the Mezia project. It needs to increase fields
of operation. In the field of irrigation, DVC must discharge some
responsibility. DVC must take some responsibility for the rural Districts.
Further, possibly the DVC does not know how to make an appropriate
application before the Central Regulatory Commission. I believe they are
not getting any relief because of dearth of knowledge among the DVC people.
The Government should
consider opening up tourist centres at Durgapur and Panchet dams. If that
is done, people will visit those places in large numbers.

SK. SAIDUL HAQUE: I am not against the restructuring or strengthening of DVC
but I am against the way it is done and against the motive behind it. If
the Central Government's control increases, a day might come when this will
be disinvested like the other Central public sector undertakings. That
must not be done. When DVC was established in 1948, it was decided that
there would be seven reservoirs and one barrage would be made. However,
only four dams - Maithon, Panchet, Tilaiya and Konar - were made. In the
case of Belpahari, the Central Water Commission was entrusted to conduct a
study on it in 2006 but it is yet to be done. Another important point is
that with regard to irrigation, the DVC is telling that it would supply
water only for Aman Paddy irrigation, but not for Boro Paddy irrigation,
which is not included in the DVC manual. It should be included for the
sake of farmers and cultivators.
Another point mentioned by the Standing Committee regarding promotion of
afforestation and control of soil erosion in the valley area is that it is
not done in a planned manner. It should be looked into. It is important to
supply drinking water to the people. DVC supplies water to Durgapur
Township, but it is charging exorbitant and abnormal cost. DVC must look
into its social corporate responsibility. The socio-economic development of
the tribal people was also a part of the DVC mission. The welfare of the
DVC employees should also be
looked into. Another important point is about power generation,
transmission and distribution. No doubt that the DVC should come forward to
fulfil the demand for power by coal and steel industries. The DVC has now
started establishing three more thermal projects at Raghunathpur, Andal and
Kodarma. That is welcome, but the question is of rehabilitation and
resettlement. The next important aspect is flood control; then we have the
promotion and operation schemes for irrigation. I again say that DVC should
not be looked like any other CPSUs. It should be looked from the other way
because it has a multi-dimensional roles and multi- dimensional projects. I
oppose this Bill.

DR. RAGHUVANSH PRASAD SINGH: The Damodar Valley Corporation was the
first corporation in India which was entrusted with the tasks of
multi-purpose flood control, power generation, irrigation, power
distribution and transmission. The Chairman of the Corporation was used to
be appointed by the Central Government with representatives from unified
Bihar and West Bengal. This amending Bill seeks to change the composition of
the Damodar Valley Corporation. But, the question of rehabilitation is most
important. When we implement such important projects, why do we
ignore the question of rehabilitation? Why has the people not been
rehabilitated for such a long time? Thousands of people are on fast. The
responsibility of the employees and officers of the Damodar Valley
Corporation comes within the Corporation's Social Responsibility. It had
been stated that special facilities would be given to the people belonging
to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities, Urdu language would be
taught but, what has been the achievements till now? The hon. Minister
should inform this House otherwise this Bill will not be passed.

SHRI ARJUN CHARAN SETHI: I would like to ask the hon. Minister about
drainage. No drainage work is being done there. This particular Bill had
also gone to the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee has recommended
certain important things. It has recommended non-power activities of DVC
which include water resources management, flood control, irrigation
etc. All these aspects have been neglected over the years. When all
these things have been neglected, then only passing of the Bill and
providing electricity to certain areas will not solve the problem. It is a
composite scheme which means you have to develop all the aspects of this
particular Corporation.

SHRI PRABODH PANDA: This amendment is a proposal for restructuring the
Damodar Valley Corporation. But the point is that the Government should
look into the health of the Corporation. At the time of its inception, the
objectives were - flood control, provision of water for irrigation and other
uses, generation of electricity, distribution, transmission and all these
things. But with the passage of time, there was shift in these national
priorities. They have shifted only to power generation, transmission and
distribution. What about the welfare measures that had been proposed
earlier for the development of the people living in and around the dam?
Nothing has been said about that. What is the fate of that revised plan for
the expansion? I do not know about the other programmes in regard to forest
and environment. I would also like to know about the problems of the
employees related to this. I would like to know if all the land users have
been provided with jobs in the DVC or not. I would also like to know if the
welfare measures as proposed for these people have already been undertaken
or not. Why is the Central Government not appointing two full time nominees
from the States of West Bengal and Jharkhand? The State of West Bengal
could be the full time Member of this Corporation. The Central Government
may propose for five members, or seven members instead of three, that is
good. The Government should think over this.

DR. TARUN MANDAL: I would first like to salute the scientist who planned
this pride project of India. All around the DVC project areas including its
four major dams and the recent thermal power project plan that the DVC is
commissioning, the people living in and around there are suffering because
of lack of electricity, lack of employment. There is a serious problem of
pollution. So, that aspect should be taken into account. Secondly, it
actually started functioning from 1964. There were around thousand families
who staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar from 17th to 24th October and met the
hon. Minister for power. I also wrote to the hon. Prime Minister regarding
the settlement. He has assured me that he will look into that matter. Due
to non-modernisation particularly due to storage problems, the capacity of
the basin is reducing and inundating more places all around. Plenty of
cusecs of water is being released endangering the lives and properties of
the people living there. That should not be done in this scientific era.
Proper development should be taken up.

SHRI RAVINDRA KUMAR PANDEY: I would like to highlight two to three points
in regard to Damodar Valley Corporation for which a Bill has been introduced
by the hon. Minister. When it was conceived to be constructed during the
era of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, it was done with a view to provide irrigation
facilities in and to benefit the people of Jharkhand, Bihar and Bengal.
Unfortunately, no provision for irrigating even an inch of land of Konar Dam
has been made under it. The persons displaced from the project are still
forced to wander from here to there. All the employees of DVC are hired on
outsourcing basis due to which their morale is falling down. I would like
to urge upon you to provide the avenues of promotion to the employees of
DVC. It has been a long pending demand since the inception of Jharkhand
that the office of DVC should be brought to Jharkhand but nothing has been
done in this regard so far. You will be amazed to know that despite
all the talks of making the contract workers permanent, no action has
been taken. I would like to request you to provide employment to the family
members of those workers and employees of DVC who have died and also to
those who have been displaced on account of the project so that their
problems could be addressed.

*SHRI PRASANTA KUMAR MAJUMDAR: The present Bill proposes that the
corporation should consist of 3 independent part-time members and I support
the Bill. More and more power will be generated by DVC and distribution of
power will increase in all the adjoining areas. But one thing
must be remembered that if the dams in the lower reaches are not repaired
and preserved then there can be heavy devastation in Hoogly, Midnapore
areas. The crops and damaged due to flood and farmers suffer a lot. These
must be addressed in right earnest. The temporary workers and employees
must be made permanent. The management should also be strengthened and
irrigation facilities must be extended.

THE MINISTER OF POWER (SHRI SUSHILKUMAR SHINDE) replying, said: This Bill
is to improve the Damodar Valley Corporation Board started in 2000. Till
2005, there was only 2144 MW capacity addition. There is no Corporation
which has handed over powers to the Government of India. This Corporation
also has powers. I assure those friends who have apprehensions that the
Government of India wants to take over all the powers and authorities. It
will not be done. We have specifically given more rights and authorities to
them. It is true that the whole project was ambitious in the beginning. It
was the brainchild of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. That vision of Panditji,
will not be diminished in the years to come. That is the reason this
amendment is being brought in. The original plan was started for
irrigation and flood control. As far as the Afforestation
including Green Belt and Land Scapping Programme is concerned, in
2008-09, Rs. 5.19 crore were given. As far as the rehabilitation is
concerned, I will look into the humanitarian ground. I will solve the
problem as far as possible. Today, we have decided our policy that the land
will be taken above locally available market rate. I have started and made
it compulsory to all the power developers that whenever they start a project
they will have to start in the beginning itself a technical training school
to train the project affected people there only.

The Bill was passed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Joint Venture between Tata Power and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) is implementing a 2 x 525 MW coal-fired power project power in Jharkhand

Leading private power producer, Tata Power, on Monday said it has achieved full-load generation of the 525 MW unit 1 of the Maithon mega power project at Dhanbad in Jharkhand.

The full load generation was achieved on June 30, after the successful synchronisation of the unit under the requisite standard requirements, the company said in a statement issued here on Monday.

Maithon Power Limited (MPL), the 74:26 Joint Venture between Tata Power and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) is implementing a 2 x 525 MW coal-fired power project power in Jharkhand.

The release said that MPL has firmed up fuel supplies from Coal India Limited and its subsidiaries and has also signed a fuel supply agreement (FSA) with Bharat Coking Coal for supply of coal to the project.

MPL has signed power purchase agreements (PPA) and power evacuation arrangement has been put in place by Power Grid Corporation of India.

The power generated from this project will not only be supplied to DVC, but will also be exported to power deficit northern states, the release said.

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