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After rap from Centre, state discusses delay in coal block development


Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Dec 26:

Ahead of the first meeting of Central Coordination Committee on Coal scheduled to be held in New Delhi on January 7, the Odisha government today held the meeting of the steering committee to address the problems leading to delay in developing the allocated coal blocks to the PSUs in the state.

Coal loading work resumed in talcher
Coal loading work resumed in talcher

The state, it may be noted, had received a rap from Union Coal Ministry recently for failing to develop allocated coal blocks to government companies. Three days ago, the Coal Ministry had 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. It had also sought explanation from NTPC for Dulanga coal block in the state.

“We are not apprehending cancellation of any of the coal blocks allocated to the PSUs. Though there are certain issues, these will be addressed. We will submit our reply to the Coal Ministry within the stipulated time frame and hope it will satisfy the ministry,” Energy secretary PK Jena told media persons here.

The steering committee was presided over by chief secretary JK Mohapatra, which also discussed the Darlipali project of NTPC. The government is in the process of acquiring land for the upcoming 1600 MW (2X800) power project. The process of environment and forest clearances from Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) for the project and the Dulang coal mines linked to it is also in process.

It is to be noted that delay in developing coal blocks will be discussed in the Central Coordination Committee meeting. Another major point of contention for discussion in the Committee meeting will be the delays that occur in obtaining clearances due to the different stages of approval that exist.

Notably, delay in obtaining various clearances from ministries and state governments has resulted in time related cost increases in coal block development.

The Committee will also try to resolve the issue raised by the Odisha and Maharashtra state governments, which have refused to execute Mining Leases due to ongoing investigation by CBI.