In November 2021, PSU Hindustan Slats had issued a tender for PV Project development. Sambhal Salts, a subsidiary of Hindustan Salts Limited issued a tender for a massive 4,000 MW.
Now the same project is under the scrutiny of Rajasthan High Court due to valid reasons like non-expertise in solar space etc. Amicus curiae R B Mathur applied for a stay on the project with a copy of a report in the Times of India, pointing out the risks to the ecology of the Sambhar wetlands environment from such a project.
At least 16,000 acres of land would be required for a massive 4000 MW project. Impact of such a large project will change the whole ecosystem around the wetlands. The Sambhal lake has been declared a Ramsar site by the UN.
A Ramsar site is a wetland considered to be of international importance under the Ramsar convention.
In case of Hindustan Salts, the high court order not to take any further steps on closure of plans. Hindustan Salts claims to have 58,000 acres of land under its control including the encroached land.
Either way, a project that was always a long shot just became that much more difficult to envisage. Not exactly the best way to attract responses to the EOI, which remains in play.
For Rajasthan itself, the massive solar pipeline, already under strain due to the issues linked to the Supreme Court order on the Giant Indian Bustard, remains more on paper than actual conversion, at least for the near future.