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Odisha seeks reallocation of coal blocks for OPGC

The state government has urged the Ministry of Coal to re-allocate Manoharpur and dip side of Manoharpur coal blocks in favour of state owned Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC). The PSU recently lost both the coal blocks after the Supreme Court order that scrapped licenses of 204 blocks that were allocated between 1993 and 2010.

Odisha’s energy minister Pranab Prakash Das has written to coal minister, Piyush Goyal, pitching for awarding the two coal blocks again to OPGC.

The minister cited that the PSU had made considerable progress on its proposed 1320 Mw expansion at its Ib valley plant.The state government had recommended grant of mining lease (ML) in OPGC’s favour in December 2012. But the matter was held up by the Ministry of Coal, Das said.

OPGC runs a 420 Mw (2×210) plant presently at the station. It plans to add 1320 Mw capacity. The expansion plan is being taken up at a cost of Rs 11,547 crore which also includes cost of other components like coal block development and dedicated rail corridor.Land acquisition for the coal mine had gained momentum. Out of 1190.60 acres government land applied by OPGC, 1041.76 acres was sanctioned. Similarly, 825.72 acres of 1362.35 acres of private land was also sanctioned for the coal mine development.

The state owned generator has already started construction work on its expansion.

Swarup arrives today

The cabinet committee on investment and project monitoring group led by additional secretary of cabinet secretariat, Anil Swarup is arriving today on a two-day trip to take stocks of the progress of investments committed by private as well as government-run companies in Odisha. Swarup will discuss with state government officials about the progress of several projects related to steel, power, coal, railway and road sectors announced in the state. He will also take stocks of the forest clearance applications filed by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) for several shut down coal mines, sources said.

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