Odisha’s view sought for coalfield master plan

Bhubaneswar, Nov 23:

Following the cancellation of coal blocks allocation by the Supreme Court, the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDI) has sought Odisha’s view over preparation of a comprehensive master plan (CMP) for two major coalfields – Talcher and Ib Valley.

Mini-ratna company CMPDI, assigned the job to prepare the CMP, has sought the state government’s view whether to proceed for preparation of the master plan based on allotment of blocks before their cancellation or wait till new scenario emerges.

“Now, coal blocks have been proposed to be allocated by e-auction, bidding and new scenario may rise. In view of the above, you are requested to inform us whether we should proceed considering allotment of coal blocks prior to cancellation or wait till new scenario emerges,” the CMPDI regional director said in a letter to the state government.

The letter was issued to the Orissa Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO), the state government’s land acquisition agency. IDCO, meanwhile, sought the view of steel and mines department in this regard.

The mini-ratna company has already submitted a draft CMP to IDCO last year and is in the process of preparing a final master plan, official sources said.

The Odisha government had proposed to prepare a CMP for Talcher and Ib Valley covering all the operational and closed coal blocks, the areas which have been allotted to non-Coal India Limited (CIL) companies, and also the potential coal-blocks which may be formed in future.

The CMPDI was asked to list the infrastructure requirement in coalfield, residential areas and green zones. It will also detail the development plan in a phased manner with indicative estimates of investment requirements.

Besides, it will assess the basic infrastructural needs, including water and power of the region, and these factors will be incorporated in the CMP.

The need for the CMP was felt when 31 coal blocks of the state allocated to 55 non-CIL companies tried to have their own rail and road infrastructure for operation. (IANS)

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