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Mega Projects at Bina

Since 1990s huge investments have been planned around Bina, south of Jhansi, in Sagar district. Bina is well connected by rail and an expressway is being constructed here, as part of the national highway project. One can therefore expect an industrial boom here. However, mega projects planned here appear to be jinxed.

In 1995, then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao laid the foundation stone for a huge, Rs 6354-crore refinery of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) at Bina. Ten years later, when the cost had ballooned to over Rs 10,000 crore, work had barely started and it was not clear whether the project would be completed by the year 2010.

The project was to be a joint venture with an oil company from Oman, which lost interest after a pipeline to feed raw material for the plant, passing through a marine park in Gujarat, did not get environmental clearance. The matter went to the Supreme Court and clearances were obtained in 2004. By then the market situation had changed and the project had to be redefined. In April 2007, BPCL's managing director reported that 45% of the output would be diesel, and that the plant would also generate power for its own use, and for sale. Actual money spent on the project was only Rs 600 crore and 85% of the work remained to be done.

Another jinxed project at Bina is a 578-MW thermal power plant planned to be set up in 1995 by the Aditya Birla group in collaboration with a UK company. The project was expected to cost around Rs 2500 crore, and it was to be expanded to a 1000-MW plant. Clearances were received in 1997. However, in May 2005, the Birla group announced that it was dropping the project due to unfavourable state government policies. In November 2007, Jaiprakash Associates, a part of Jaypee group, was reported to be interested in taking over the project.

 

 

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