Nine of 12 coal blocks idle,  FICCI urges Odisha government to intervene

Though Vedanta had successfully bid for two blocks and GMR and Essel Mining one each, none of  them have started the ground works.

Published: 19th July 2021 09:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2021 09:29 AM   |  A+A-

Coal Mining

For representational purposes (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The State government is losing out on a huge amount of revenue from royalty with just three of the 12 coal blocks, auctioned since 2015, in operation now.

Expressing concern over the delay in commissioning production of the auctioned coal blocks, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has urged the State government to set up a dedicated cell to monitor the progress and sort out issues relating to land acquisition and expeditious approval of statutory clearances.

Writing to Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra recently, FICCI secretary general Dilip Chenoy said coal blocks allotted to five public sector undertakings and four private companies remained a non-starter due to delay in land acquisition and grant of statutory clearances. 

“I would take this opportunity to bring to your kind notice that 12 coal mines have been allocated and auctioned in Odisha since 2015 having production capacity of 97 million tonne per annum (MTPA) which will generate revenue of over `7,000 crore every year for the State exchequer, creating over 1 lakh direct and indirect local jobs,” Chenoy said. 

The Dulanga coal block of NTPC, OCPL’s Manoharpur and the Talabira II and III blocks allocated to Neyveli Lignite Corporation have been operationalised. However, the Utkal-D block of NALCO, Baitarani West of OMC and Naini block of Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) have remained idle in the last six years. Two other coal blocks allotted to Karnataka Power Corporation (Mandakini) and Gujarat Electricity Corporation (Utkal-C) are also lying idle.

Though Vedanta had successfully bid for two blocks and GMR and Essel Mining one each, none of them have started the groundworks.

The cumulative reserve of coal in the 12 blocks is over 3,376 MT with a production capacity of 97 MTPA. The State will get annual royalty to the tune of Rs 7,287 crore if all the annual production capacity is achieved, FICCI said. 

Chenoy said that these auctioned coal blocks have significant potential to generate revenue for the State and at the same time create massive opportunities for local employment. Odisha’s GSDP is estimated to contract by 4.9 per cent (pc) due to the impact of Covid-19.  

However, the State’s performance is better in comparison to the overall GDP of the country which contracted at a higher rate of 7.3 pc in 2020-21. 

“One of the key measures to revive the economy, in the current scenario, could be expeditious operationalisation of the already allocated coal blocks,” the FICCI secretary general stated.


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