Odisha seeks coal mines cater to private industries

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government on Friday urged the Union Coal Ministry to provide mines to it so that it can provide coal to private sector industries operating in the state.

Holding a discussion with Union Coal Secretary Anil Swarup, Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi requested him to treat State PSUs at par with Central PSUs in the matters of compensatory afforestation.

“The team was also requested to provide mines to the state government for providing the coal to private sector industries operating in the state,” said a government release.

A central team led by Anil Swarup has applauded the progress of coal mining projects in Odisha. Swarup said this while reviewing the progress of the projects in a high-level meeting held under the joint chairmanship of Padhi and Swarup here.

Steel and Mines Secretary R.K. Sharma and Energy Secretary Rajesh Verma raised the issues relating to allocation to coal blocks to OPTCL for power generation and approval of mining lease in respect of Monaharpur and Dipside coal blocks allotted to Odisha Coal and Power Limited.   The in-principle decision was taken for grant of the mining lease.

The progress of the coal mining projects of MCL was reviewed in the meeting and the bottlenecks coming up in the process of implementation were removed through common deliberation and common action points, the release added.

Swarup said that this exercise has been very fruitful and effective.

The state and district administration have acted very proactively for the development of MCL coal mine projects, he added.

“We had set the target for enhancing production of MCL to 250 MT by the year 2020 in which Odisha would add substantially. Because of the cooperation from Odisha government, the production of coal in the country has also been enhanced and now our country is heading towards a ‘coal surplus country’,” said the Coal Secretary.

Swarup also added that we have agreed in principle to provide mines to the state for commercial mining.

Padhi said that the MCL coal mine projects in the districts of Angul, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh have been first tracked and state government would provide all help and assistance for their operation.

He hoped that the production of coal from Odisha would increase substantially in coming years.

The major projects reviewed in the meeting included Ib-Valley Washery, Jagannath washery, Lajkura OC, Basundhara Washery, Jagannath OCP, Bhubaneswari OCP, Natraj Under Ground Mine, Hingula OCP, Kaniha OCP, Ananta OCP, Siarmal OCP and Lingaraj OCP.

Mainly the issues relating to rehabilitation, providing employment to the land losers, forest clearance, shifting of the village, CSR activities, etc. figured the meeting and were resolved.