India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had provided all solar projects under construction a blanket extension equivalent to the lockdown period and an additional 30 days for normalisation post lockdown.
Recently, it notified that the lockdown period be considered from March 25 till May 31, 2020, to grant the blanket extension in completion of solar projects.
However, as the Covid-19 situation worsens and many regions in the country continue to face lockdown like restrictions, lobby group National Solar Federation of India (NSEFI) has urged the ministry to provide blanket extension till November 30, 2020, considering a Force Majeure.
In its letter to the ministry, NSEFI stated that various under-construction projects are still in a standstill situation due to various restrictions and labour exodus.
“While the full lockdown imposed by the government is being lifted in phased manners, the ground situation is that the work could not happen during the lockdown. The labours actually started returning to their native places when lockdown started to phase out. As a result, the project activities continue to remain severely hampered due to the imposition of lockdown,” it wrote.
“Despite unlock-1 phase being initiated with the restoration of few services (till June 30, 2020) and subsequent unlock-2 guidelines relaxing certain additional services, restrictions like suspension of railways, the imposition of night curfews and restriction on social gathering continue. Further, many cities and states continue to have stringent lockdown like situation in place.”
Further, most labourers are unable to commute back to their workplaces. International travel remains prohibited to date, which has impacted the procurement of imported items like modules and inverters.
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