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State seeks info on land requirement for coal blocks

In a bid to expedite the development of coal blocks in the state, the steel and mines department has asked the Industrial Investment Promotion Corporation of Orissa Limited (IPICOL) to submit a report on the total land requirement of non-Coal India limited (CIL) companies.

“As the matter is urgent, it is requested that the required information in respect of the 19 coal blocks may kindly be furnished, without further delay,” said a letter from the steel and mines department.

Out of allocated 32 coal blocks in Orissa, IPICOL, in November last year, had furnished the data on land requirement of 13 coal blocks allotted to 29 public sector undertakings (PSUs) and private firms. The IPICOL is yet to provide the information on land requirement of the remaining 19 blocks allocated to various non-CIL companies.

The step from the state government comes barely a day after the Union ministry of Coal drafted guidelines for timely development of allotted coal blocks to expedite the process of coal production. The ministry has advised the allocatees to adhere to the timeline in the development of the blocks or else face de-allocation.

It may be noted, the Ministry of Coal has allocated 32 coal blocks to 56 companies, both PSUs and private firms in Orissa. These coal blocks have a total reserve of 15,212 million tonnes. Of the 56 firms which have been allocated the coal blocks, there are 16 PSUs including public sector companies from Orissa and other states. However, of the 32 coal blocks, only one block (Talabira-I) coal block has gone into production.

The combined area required for operation of all the 32 coal blocks, is about 325 sq km and the implementation of these projects would involve displacement of around two lakh people.

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