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The Union Power Ministry in its recent notice, has advised the State/UT administrations to allow construction activities in the power projects outside Municipal limits during nation-wide lockdown for COVID-19 outbreak as per the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on 15.04.2020.
The notice further stated that “These activities may be permitted after observing necessary health protocols to curb COVID-19.”
In a communication to States/UTs, DMs, Police Authorities, Municipal Bodies issued on 20.04.2020, the Ministry has said that “All kind of construction of industrial projects in rural areas, i.e., outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities have been allowed to be carried out with effect from 20th April 2020. This is also applicable for ongoing construction activities in Thermal/Hydro Power Generation Projects outside the limits of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
The Ministry has also requested to allow the intrastate and interstate movement of construction materials, equipment, spares & consumables, etc., for these under-construction power projects.
It has been emphasized that resumption of project works at sites may be carried out while taking all mandatory precautions and norms of social distancing as well the advisories issued by Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from time to time concerning COVID-19.
The Power Ministry has further instructed all CMDs of Power CPSUs and IIPs and UMPPs to ensure the necessary preventive measures/ equipment/ amenities for safeguard from COVID-19 to their employees and workforce deployed for construction activities.
The Ministry advises the Chief Secretaries of All States for similar action in respect of the State Generating Companies/ Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
Recently, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued the circular on-time extension in the scheduled commissioning date of RE projects considering disruption of the supply chains due to the spread of coronavirus in China or any other country as a force majeure event. The circular stated that Ministry of Finance has clarified that the disruption of the supply chains due to spread of coronavirus in China or any other country should be considered as a case of natural calamity and Force Majeure Clause (FMC) may be invoked, wherever considered appropriate, following the due procedure.
On 9th April, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued the notice for extended in deadlines for the approved list of models and manufacturers (ALMM) by the next 6 months to provide aid to the renewable energy firms from considering disruption of the sector due to the spread of coronavirus pandemic. The list includes solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and solar PV cells. The last date for enlistment for both ALMM List-I and ALMM List-II is extended from March 31, 2020, to September 30, 2020.