After losing coal block to Telangana, Orissa says auctions provide little benefit

Upset over one of its power PSUs not being allocated a coal block in the latest round of coal block allotment, Orissa has said the auctions and allotment of coal blocks is leading to inequitable sharing of cost and benefits from the coal mining and power generation with little benefit to it.

Though the State was eyeing the Naini coal block, one of the 43 coal blocks allocated for PSUs, it was given to Singareni Collieries Company Limited of Telangana government two days ago. Orissa had formed a new power PSU called Orissa Thermal Power Corporation in Dhenkanal to establish a 3X800 megawatt and 1X800 megawatt coal-firedplant and was eyeing Naini coal block in Angul district with a proven reserve of 500 million tonnes of coal.

OTPC, a 50:50 joint venture between Orissa Mining Corporation and Orissa Hydro Power Corporation, has already applied for Chhendipada and Chhendipada -II under government dispensing route. It has not been possible to incur 30 per cent per expenditure due to guidelines issues by Centre advising the government project authorities not to incur any expenditure for the project work without obtaining environmental clearance. The project has so far acquired 60 per cent of the private land necessary and payment of balance 40 per cent is in progress.

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