No progress, Baitarani coal block de-allocated - The New Indian Express

No progress, Baitarani coal block de-allocated

Published: 12th December 2012 11:57 AM

Last Updated: 12th December 2012 11:57 AM

Centre has de-allocated the Baitarani (West) coal block, allocated jointly to Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC), Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL) and Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), on the recommendation of the inter ministerial group (IMG) which found that there was no progress on production from the mine.

 Baitarani (West) is the third coal block allocated to the State Government undertaking which has been de-allocated after Utkal-D and Mandakini-B. The coal block was allocated to three PSUs on July 25, 2007. While OHPC proposed to set up 3 X 800 MW power plant at Kamakhyanagar in Dhenkanal district, KSEB proposed power plants in Kerala.

 The IMG noted that though Baitarani (West) is a fully explored coal block, there is no production though five years have lapsed from the date of allotment. Joint Venture for the exploration of the coal block among the three PSUs was formed in 2008. 

The IMG considered the terms and conditions of the allocation, the showcause notice issued, the reply and the presentation made by the company along with the latest status paper placed before it. 

 As per the IMG, no progress has been made on any of the three end-user projects to be set up in Odisha, Gujarat and Kerala.

The IMG noted that neither environment  clearance (EC) nor forest clearance (FC) has yet been obtained nor has any land been taken in possession though three years have lapsed since the mining plan was approved in 2009. Even application of FC has not been made.

 In view of the unsatisfactory progress in the development of the coal mine and end-use plants and taking into account all factors, the IMG has recommended that the coal block may be de-allocated as per the terms and conditions of the letter of allocation, the Coal Ministry said in its letter to the CMD of OHPC and the Chief Secretary BK Patnaik.

In order to expedite the development of the coal block, the Coal Ministry had held several review meetings but there was no development.

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