“There cannot be industrial development without proper coordination between various departments. Before the State government proceeds to invite investments, a solution has to be found out for the existing problem,” said Justice N Anand Venkatesh.
“Ultimately, the project implemented by Tantransco should not adversely affect the development of the SEZ, which is seen to be the future for industrial investments in this State,” he added.
The row between Tantransco and AMRL Hitech City Ltd that set up the SEZ is that the utility had initially given an impression that the transmission lines for the 230 KV substation, meant to provide uninterrupted supply to the units, would be erected along the boundary. But later it came to be known that the lines were to be laid across the property, directly and indirectly rendering useless nearly 800 of the total 2,518 acres of land.
The firm also questioned the manner in which Tantransco was compelling it to pay the entire expenses if the line was to be laid through the alternate path. But the utility submitted that the difference in cost worked out to more than Rs 400 crore.
The judge noted that the Union Power Ministry had ranked Tandgedco, the generation and distribution company of the power utility, 39th out of 41 firms or boards. It fell in the last grade, C, the court said, adding that the report should be a wakeup call for the Electricity Department.
Unless some effective steps were taken, it was only going to move from bad to worse. “Therefore, some proactive measures are required on the side of the Department of Electricity,” the court held, even as it refused to interfere with the project implemented by the Tantransco.