Adani Group’s initiative to expand its solar power generation portfolio has hit a temporary roadblock. A report by PTI said that the Rajasthan High Court has temporarily stayed its 1,500 MW project in Rajasthan following land acquisition issues with local farmers.
According to Mercom’s sources, the Adani Renewable Energy Park has two land parcels totaling about 13,000 bighas (8,125 acres) near Pokhran in Jaisalmer. This particular petition involves around 6,115 bighas (3,821 acres) falling under the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) conservation area in Rajasthan.
A group of local farmers have challenged the state’s decision to allocate the land to the private business house for undertaking a solar power project.
A Jodhpur Bench of the Rajasthan High Court heard the petition. The bench has asked Adani and the state government to present their views while ordering the status quo over the project land. The bench is slated to hear the matter on September 29, 2020.
Rajasthan government allocated the land to Adani in 2018. The parcel in question was a stretch of land in Nedan village of Pokhran tehsil and sold to the Adani group company at nearly ₹135 million (~$1.77 million). Farmers at the Nedan villagers challenged this land allocation.
The parcel was earlier marked as agricultural land, which according to recent reports, was changed to barren land through an executive order on May 30, 2017, allowing the state to hand it over to Adani for the solar park.
The petitioners have objected to the allocation since lands reserved for cultivation cannot be allotted for any other purposes. They insisted that the entire 6,115 bigha was neither waste land nor barren. Farmers have been cultivating the land for several years, the petition claimed.
The petitioners also objected to the allocation as it may have a fatal impact on the conservation of the Great Indian Bustard in the region as the land in question is adjacent to village Rasla known as Rasla Park, reserved for their conservation. Farmers fear the project will harm the efforts of conservation of these birds.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, Adani Green has an installed solar PV capacity of nearly 2.4 GW and 10 GW of solar PV projects under various stages of development across the country.
Kilaj Solar (Maharashtra) Private Limited, a step-down subsidiary of Adani Green, recently commissioned a 50 MW solar power project having a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Solar Energy Corporation of India at ₹2.54 (~$0.03)/kWh for 25 years. The 50 MW project is located in Rajasthan.
Debjoy Sengupta is a Senior Assistant Editor at Mercom. Debjoy brings more than two decades of experience in frontline journalism, spending most of his career working for dailies like Business Standard and The Economic Times. He has reported on a vast array of sectors, including power and renewables. A graduate in business economics, Debjoy is an amateur 3D digital artist and a photographer. More articles from Debjoy Sengupta.