Even as a fierce verbal battle is on between the BJD and BJP on different issues in view of the 2019 Assembly elections, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday wrote to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking his cooperation and support of the Odisha Government for implementation of `6500-crore strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) project at Chandikhol.
“I am happy to inform you that on June 27, 2018, Cabinet approved the establishment of a four million tonne capacity SPR facility. This will be a big milestone for Odisha as it will place the State on the global map of SPRs,” he said and added that it will also be a value add proposition to the PCPIR, Paradip and contribute to the creation of a petroleum hub in Odisha. About 600 acre of land has been identified at Chandikhole after extensive survey of geological/rock structure.
As per plan, 400 acre is required for the SPR facility.
As the SPR will also bring other benefits to Odisha, the Union Minister requested the Chief Minister to facilitate single window clearance for the SPR project, fast track land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R), consent/permission for sourcing water and power, permission of state directorate of mines and geology, clearing the area of all quarrying activities, environment and pollution board clearances and other required permissions.
Pradhan said during the meeting with Chief Secretary on October 3, it was agreed to send a team of State Government officials to Mangaluru and Padur SPR facilities in Karnataka to see the kind of facilities that are proposed to be built at Chandikhol and the quantity of rock debris that will be generated. Stating that Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) will facilitate the visit of Odisha Government officials to Mangaluru and Padur SPR facilities, he requested the Chief Minister to expedite the visit.
A composite team led by joint secretary of the Petroleum Ministry (international cooperation) Sunjay Sudhir visited Bhubaneswar on October 3 and made a detailed presentation to the Chief Secretary and other senior officials on different aspects of the project.