Odisha seeks suitable Coal Block for OTPCL

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has requested the Centre to cancel Tentuloi Coal Block allotted to Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (OTPCL) and allot a suitable Coal Block in its place.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the OTPCL, a joint venture company of two state government undertakings— Odisha Hydro Power Corporation Ltd (OHPC ) and Odisha Mining Corporation Ltd (OMC)— is going to set up a 3200 MW (4 X 800 MW) coal based super critical thermal power plant near Kamakhyanagar in Dhenkanal district.

The project authorities have completed the land acquisition and have also conducted the public hearing. Besides, all statutory clearances have been obtained except the environment clearance which is pending, he said.

Patnaik said the Tentuloi Coal Block was allocated to OTPCL as no other alternative 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 state government has requested the Coal ministry several times for cancellation of the said Coal Block.

He further said though the state government had requested to allot Chhendipada and Chhendipada-II Coal Block in lieu of Tentuloi Coal Block to OTPCL, no Coal Block has been allocated in favour of OTPCL so far.

Stating that Odisha has the largest deposits of power grade coal in the country, the chief minister said the demand for power in the state is growing rapidly due to increased coverage of households and higher consumption.

“To meet its power requirement, the state government has decided to set up this major thermal project in the State Sector for the benefit of the people of the state.

“Allocation of a suitable coal block to OTPCL will help in making power available at low cost to the consumers of Odisha,” he pointed out.

Drawing the attention of the Prime Minister on the Baitarani East Coal Mine having a tentative reserve of about 600 MT of coal, Patnaik said though this coal mine has been allocated to MCL, it is situated far away from the command area of operation of MCL. Considering the above, it will be easier on the part of the state PSU to develop this coal mine as it is near the Baitarani West Coal mine which has been recently allocated to the state government.

He also suggested allocation of Karadabahal and Brahmanibil Coal Blocks, which are also located nearby and having adequate reserves to cater to the requirement of the aforesaid power project, to the OTPCL, which, he said, will go a long way in ensuring the energy security of the state and attainment of the goal envisioned by both the state government and the Centre of providing 24X7 Power for All.