Odisha Seeks Baitarani East Coal Block For OTPCL


BHUBANESWAR: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allocate Baitarani East coal block in favour of Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Limited (OTPCL) to feed its proposed thermal power plant at Kamakshyanagar in Dhenkanal district.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Patnaik said, “Kindly consider allocating Baitarani East coal block to OTPCL to cater to the requirement of the power project being set up by it in Dhenkanal district. Alternatively, Karadabahal and Brahmanibil coal blocks, which are also located nearby and having adequate reserves to cater to the requirement of the aforesaid power project may be considered for allocation to the state PSU.

Patnaik said even though the Baitarani coal mine having a tentative reserve of 600 MT of coal has been allocated to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), it is geographically situated far away from the command area of operation of MCL.

“It will be easier on the part of the state PSU to develop this coal mine as it is bordering another coal mine-Baitarani West coal mine recently allocated to the state government,” said the chief minister.

OTPCL, a joint venture company of two state government undertakings, is establishing a 3200 Mw (4X800 Mw) coal-based super critical thermal power plant at Kamakshyanagar.

The chief minister said the project had obtained all statutory clearances except environment clearance which is pending.

It may be worthwhile to mention that OTPCL was allocated the Tentuloi coal block as no other coal block was available at that point of time. As the cost of extracting coal from this deep cast mine will be prohibitively high, the centre was requested several times for cancellation of the coal block.

The state government had demanded allotment of Chhendipada and Chhendipada II coal blocks in lieu of Tentuloi coal block to OTPCL. But, no coal block has been allocated to OTPCL so far, said the chief minister.