Bhubaneswar, Dec 23:
The Coal Ministry today sought an explanation from the Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) within 20 days for slow progress in developing of Manoharpur and Dipside Manoharpur coal blocks.
“Keeping in view of the slow progress, the Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) recommended seeking explanation for slow progress in development of the coal blocks. The recommendation of IMG has since been considered and accepted by the government. Under the above circumstances, you are hereby called upon to explain, on each milestone separately to this Ministry within a period of 20 days from the date of issue, the reasons for slow progress as well as the efforts made by you in development of the coal block,” said SK Sahi, Director in the Coal Ministry told General Manager (Mines), OPGC, in a letter.
Sahi said appropriate action will be taken against the company if it failed to explain the reasons behind the tardy progress of development of these coal blocks.
The ministry has also asked OPGC to furnish a detailed status on the progress of the end-use plant for which the coal blocks were allocated.
The IMG is mandated to review the progress of development of allocated coal blocks and associated end-use projects and to recommend action, including de-allocation, if required. Chaired by the additional secretary (coal), it has representatives from the ministries of power, steel, commerce & industry and law and justice as well as the departments of legal affairs and economic affairs.
The MoC had allocated the Manoharpur and dip side of Manoharpur coal blocks to OPGC on July 25, 2007 to cater to its expansion plan at the site of its Ib valley power station near Jharsuguda. OPGC runs a 420 MW plant and was adding two 660 MW super critical units. The expansion plan is being taken up at a cost of Rs 11,547 crore, which also includes cthe ost of other components like coal block development and dedicated rail corridor.
It is to be noted that in order to expedite the development of Manoharpur and dip side of Manoharpur coal blocks, the Coal Ministry had held review meetings from time to time. In the review meeting held in January 11-12 last year, the ministry had expressed concern over the unsatisfactory progress of the coal blocks and accordingly issued an advisory letter on April 26, 2012 to expedite its development.
Later, the IMG, at its 19th meeting held on June 25 this year, noted that no significant progress had been made by OPGC towards development of the coal blocks.
The IMG noted that several critical milestones like submission of mining plan, forest clearance, environment clearance and land acquisition were still pending.