Power ministry asks states to allow construction activities in power plants

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New Delhi (NVI): To enable a smooth interstate and intra-state transmission network in the country amid the Covid-19 lockdown, the Ministry of Power has asked states and union territories to allow construction activities in the power projects outside municipal limits while observing necessary health protocols as per April 15 guidelines issued by Centre.

MHA, in its guidelines for the extended lockdown, had said that activities in the power sector like laying and erection of transmission lines were permitted after observing necessary health protocols to curb COVID-19.

In a letter to States/UTs, DMs, Police Authorities, Municipal Bodies on April 20, the Power Ministry has said that as per Para 16(i) of the guidelines issued by MHA, construction of all kinds of industrial projects in rural areas, i.e., outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities have been allowed to be carried out with effect from 20.04.2020.

“This is also applicable for ongoing construction activities in Thermal/Hydro Power Generation Projects outside the limits of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), the Ministry said in a statement.

The Ministry has also requested to allow the intrastate and interstate movement of construction materials, equipment, spares & consumables etc., for these under-construction power projects as per the MHA order.

The Ministry has emphasised that resumption of project works at sites may be carried out while taking all mandatory precautions and norms of social distancing as well the advisories issued by MHA and Health Ministry from time to time with regard to Covid-19.

In addition to this, the Power Ministry has instructed all CMDs of Power CPSUs and IIPs and UMPPs to ensure the necessary preventive measures/ equipment/amenities for safeguard from COVID-19 to their employees and workforce deployed for construction activities.

The ministry has also advised the Chief Secretary of all States for similar action in respect of the State Generating Companies/ Independent Power Producers (IPPs).