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Azure Power rejoinder: Necessary permissions taken, purchases are private land deals

Counterview Desk
In a rejoinder to the National Alliance Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM) claim published in Counterview (“Assam land rights struggle: Corporate-state nexus behind arrests, violence, says NAPM”, January 21), Azure Power -- criticised for setting aside the farmers' rights under land acquisition laws -- has said that its conduct has been “environmentally-public friendly” and is purchasing land in a “lawful and fair manner.”
Involved in an ambitious solar power project, Azure Power, one of India’s leading independent solar power producers, won the largest solar power project in the North Eastern region of India in 2018, signing a Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL). Agreements have been reached amidst Assam witnessing a significant increase in power demand in recent years and has a shortage of electricity capacity.

Text of the statement by Azure Power spokesperson:

Our first Solar Power project in the State will help drive investment in Assam and support the increasing power needs, leading to an environmentally - public friendly solution, of providing clean energy at an economical cost, as well as local employment opportunities during and post construction of the plant.
We are fully compliant with the rules and regulations of the state and the land purchase has been done in a lawful and fair manner, with due consultations with all stakeholders. Necessary permissions have been taken and all land purchases have been made through private land deals and not under the Land Acquisition Act 2013. The local authorities and courts have also upheld the proposed land acquisition all along till date.
We regularly engage with the local community and have two ongoing skill development centres in Karbigaon and Murgiladai with an aim at advancing their skills and livelihood enhancing trainings suitable to the local requirement and employability, are being conducted regularly in the district.
Azure Power’s journey spanning over a decade, is the first private utility solar power company in India, to develop a solar plant in 2009. As a dedicated solar power company, we provide affordable solar power in an efficient, sustainable and socially responsible manner across key states today.

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