coal block

Odisha Reiterates Its Demand For Chhendipada Coal Blocks

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government reiterated its demand for allocation of Chhendipada and Chhendipada-II coal blocks for OTPCL.

Odisha Thermal Power Corp. Ltd. (OTPCL) is setting up 3×800 MW power plant in Dhenkanal.

The state government raised the issue at the Energy Ministers conference held in Goa on Thursday.

“Odisha requests for allocation of Chhendipada and Chhendipada-II coal blocks which has since been pending with Government of India,” said Odisha Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das.

The Coal Ministry had allocated underground “Tentuloi” coal block situated in Talcher Coalfields in 2013. However, the block is not technically and economically viable for open cast mining,” said Das.

 Hence, the OTPCL has surrendered the coal block to Centre, he added.

Clean Environment Cess on coal

The Centre increased the cess to Rs.400 per Metric Tonne (MT) of coal from the existing Rs.200 per MT in the Budget this year.

It resulted in the collection of about Rs.6,400 crore from Odisha to promote the renewable energy development in other states. However, it does give any commensurate benefit to Odisha, he added.

“Odisha being the host state has to bear the cost involved in dealing with negative externalities. These includes environment degradation, loss of flora and fauna and health hazards to people,” the Minister said.

He said at least 60% of proceeds of such funds should be shared with the state government to deal with the negative externalities.

He said the Centre has reduced the allocation ratio from 90:10 to 60:40 in the new schemes like DDUGJY and IPDS.

As a result, the reduction between Centre and state shares put a financial burden on the state.

Further, by curtailing fund allocation against the detailed project reports of the state by Rs 2417.27 crore, the scope towards ‘System Strengthening’ and ‘Connecting the Unconnected households’ have diminished, he added.

The government curtailed Rs 1289.22 crores under DDUGJY and 1128.05 crores under IPDS.