The mess that is Maheshwar Dam

Last Modified: Sat Feb 27 2016 22:16:30 GMT+0530 (India Standard Time)
  • 400 MW
    Maheshwar Hydropower Project on the Narmada River is one of 30 large dams that are a part of the ambitious Narmada Valley Development Project.
  • 1994
    year the project was handed over to S Kumars. It remains incomplete to date.
  • Rs. 1,569 crore
    original estimate of the project.
  • Rs. 4,635 crore
    cost of the project in September 2015 according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
  • Nov-2011
    onwards, work has been suspended due to cash flow problems, noted the CEA.
  • 60,000
    people in over 60 villages, affected by the project have not yet been rehabilitated.
  • Rs. 499 crore
    money brought in by the investors, including the promoters, have brought as equity, according to a meeting of the lenders that took place on 08-Sept-2015.
  • Rs. 1815 crore
    money brought in by lenders, which is close to 78% of the money spent so far, which begs the question, why this project was sought to be privatized in the first place. The major lenders are mostly public or government-owned financial entities as listed below.
  • Rs. 700 crore
    Power Finance Corporation
  • Rs. 259 crore
    HUDCO
  • Rs. 250 crore
    Rural Electrification Corporation
  • Rs. 200 crore
    State Bank of India
  • May 2015
    a committee formed in Oct 2014, proposed three possible scenarios to resolve the status-quo.
  • #1
    project promoter to bring in Rs 600 crore as equity and Rs 1200 crore of debt to complete the project within 90 days. S Kumars failed to do so.
  • #2
    Rs. 1800 to be brought in by any public sector operation. But with a upper limit to tariff for the electricity generated at Rs. 5.32 per unit, there are no takers.
  • #3
    Abandon the project. But with the dam already built, the river disrupted, the biota and ecosystem disturbed and people displaced and but will anyone be held accountable?