With Bescom deaf to their pleas, solar power producers knock on CM's doors

With Bescom deaf to their pleas, solar power producers knock on CM

Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2016-08-19 10:48 Bengaluru: Frustrated over Bescom’s callous attitude and staring at huge losses, several solar power producers have approached Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the Union government and others seeking justice. Tempted by the Bescom’s rooftop solar power generation plan, hundreds had signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Bescom expecting a windfall from the idea of generating power and selling it to the company. Bescom assured producers of purchasing power at a cost of Rs 9.56 for the next 25 years. However, trouble started when banks, which had promised producers financial assistance, demanded a specification letter from the power distribution company, which mentions the validity of the PPA. The investors then approached Bescom requesting them to issue a specification date and save them from losing the project. Letters were written to MD Bescom and others to bail them out. However, Bescom kept mum much to the uneasiness of the investors. “We have invested crores of rupees, but we will be on the streets if Bescom does not heed our pleas,” said Basavaraj, one of the investors. On August 16, investors wrote to the governor, CM, SC/ST commission and Karnataka State Human Rights Commission alleging that Bescom instead of doing the needful was harassing them. “We are under severe pressure to commission the project within a year, as per the target provided by the electricity supply company, but there is no letter issued from when the PPA begins and concludes. This is utmost necessary for the banks to sanction loan to complete our project,” said one of the complainant L Nagarathna, who is coming out with a power project at Doddabathi village adjacent to Davangere town. Seeking justice, Nagarathna said she had permission to set-up a roof-top solar power plant. Planning to be a woman entrepreneur, she had invested crores of rupees. “Several communications to Bescom authorities met with no response. Even KERC has not responded to the letter and the banks are refusing to even look into our application. If the same continues, we will be on streets,” the letter states.  The investors have also sent a copy of the complaint to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Energy Piyush Goel.