The Uttarakhand government has asked Larsen & Toubro to stop work on its 99-Mw Singoli-Bhatwari hydel project in the hilly Rudraprayag district of the state.
Additional power secretary Saurabh Jain told Business Standard that the construction work of the project had come to a halt this week, following a letter by the state's Power Department.
Company officials said that, since the implementation agreement with the state government was yet to be signed, work on the project would remain suspended.
Significantly, the government had suspended its two major projects - the 480-Mw Pala Maneri and 381-Mw Bhaironghati - following an agitation by environmentalist G D Agrawal last year.
The work of the Singoli-Bhatwari project, which is being built on the river Mandakini, a tributary of the Ganga, resumed early this month after remaining suspended for several months due to a prolonged agitation by local people. They were seeking compensation in lieu of the damage to their houses and other properties due to construction of underground tunnels.
Following an intervention by the Rudraprayag District Magistrate Dilip Jawalkar, the company officials signed an agreement with the locals, promising to give compensation in case of loss of life and property.
Singoli-Bhatwari was the first hydel project in Uttarakhand which was allotted to L&T. The company had proposed to invest Rs 600-700 crore (Rs 6-7 billion) in this project.
Singoli-Bhatwari is being built on the public-private partnership model and is being executed on a build-own-operate-transfer basis. The company will develop, finance, construct, commission and operate the power plant for a period of 45 years.
The project involves design and construction of a 20-metre high and 80-metre long barrage, a 12-km long headrace tunnel, surface powerhouse, substation and a 12-km long 132-Kv transmission line.