Odisha seeks larger chunk of its 71,447 MT coal reserves

New Delhi: Odisha has accused the Centre of adopting a discriminatory approach towards the state by giving barely 1.26 per cent of coal in the state and sought a larger chunk of the fuel reserves.
"Interestingly, while the state of Odisha has a total estimated coal reserve of 71,447 MT, so far the Odisha state PSUs put together have only 1.26 per cent of coal reserves allocated for its projects whereas 10.77 per cent of reserves have been allocated to private companies," Odisha Energy Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo has written to the Centre.
Stating that supporting "other state and central entities at the cost of its own state companies" will be difficult, Sahoo in a his letter to Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said that apart from private companies, 6.38 per cent reserves have been alloted to other state PSUs while 32.15 per cent has been given to Coal India subsidiary Mahanadi Coal.
Stating that Odisha is facing unprecedented rise in demand for power due to industrial and social development, Sahoo sought re-examination of the recent blocks allocation by Centre in which only one mine was allocated to Odisha PSU terming it a "total injustice to the state, especially being a host state".
The state sought re-examination of the allocation process and "justice" to it by allocation of Chandrabila coal block to state PSU Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC), which is in the process of setting up 4X660 MW power plant.
Earlier this month, the Centre has alloted 14 coal blocks with geological reserves of 8,311 million tonnes (MT) to Centre and state PSUs including 4 to NTPC.
"While coal blocks have been allocated to all eligible PSUs recommended by the Ministry of Power, CEA and CMPDI, only OPGC has been excluded allowing a totally discriminatory approach. Same yardstick has not been applied to other PSUs.
"This attitude of the Ministry is very disturbing, disappointing and unjust to the state of Odisha," the letter said.