Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 27:
The Odisha government has urged the Centre for auction of more coalmines for the non-regulated sector comprising steel, aluminium and cement industries and their captive power plants.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said out of the nine coal blocks of Odisha earmarked for auction, only one mine, namely, Jamkhani has been earmarked for the non-regulated sector while 10 coal blocks have been earmarked for allotment meant only for the power sector.
Drawing the attention of the Prime Minister, Patnaik said 58 industries of Odisha have a total installed captive power generation capacity of more than 7500 MW with an approximate annual coal requirement of more than 50 million tones of which 13 larger industrial units with CPP’s of more than 100 MW alone account for 5000 MW capacity.
Stating that these industries will be at a great disadvantage due to non-earmarking of adequate number of coal blocks to meet their captive requirement, he said the disproportionately high extent of earmarking of the coal blocks of Odisha for the power sector would not only affect the end-user mineral based industries of the state, but also reduce the revenue benefits to the state due to the reverse bidding procedure followed for the power sector.
“While Odisha has about a quarter of the country’s coal reserves, out of the revenue of more than Rs one lakh crore from the coal blocks auctioned till now, the share of Odisha is expected to be less than one percent,” the chief minister said and requested the prime minister to re-examine the process of earmarking of coal mines for auction for the non-regulated sector.