Odisha to discuss coal extraction with Centre on Jan 29

Bhubaneswar: Odisha among seven major coal bearing states will attend a high-level meeting convened by the Union Coal secretary Anil Swarup in New Delhi on January 29.

The meeting will discuss about the measures to raise coal exploration and strengthen the transport network. It will also review the status of captive coal mines. Besides, the Union Coal secretary would also take stock of the mode of coal exploration in these states.

Apart from Odisha, the mining officials the six other states—Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal will attend the meeting.

Official sources said the secretaries of Mines and Forest and Environment and Industries departments and director of Mines from Odisha would attend the meeting.

After the meeting, the Union Coal secretary will have a discussion with the state chief secretary and development commissioner, the sources added.

Mines minister Prafulla Mallick said, “Odisha government would rake up in the meeting about how auction for coal blocks in the State could be conducted. Besides, allocation of blocks to public sector undertakings such as OPTCL and OPGC would be discussed.”

Former Director of Mines BK Mohanty said, “Main focus of the meeting would be on thermal grade coal block. They would definitely discuss about the requirements of thermal generation plants and expansion plans.”