Orissa will face coal crisis soon, thanks to faulty policy of the Centre.
This is abundantly clear with the wrongful tactics adopted by the Ministry of Coal in allocating coal blocks.
Orissa, being the major coal bearing state is now at the receiving end.
The state having 24.29 per cent of the nation's coal reserves have been allotted only 7.67 per cent of the total reserves of coal allotted to various states for commercial end use.
Angry over the issue, Chief Minister Naveen Patanik has sent a letter to the Prime Minister.
As per the provisions of the "Government Dispensation Scheme", coal blocks are being allotted to the State government Undertakings.
Unfortunately the State Government's request has not being adhered to and other state PSUs are cornering the lion share, said Mr.Patnaik in his letter.
According to an analysis available Chhatisgarh has been allocated the highest- 19.33 per cent, following West Bengal-19.30 per cent.
Similarly Jharkhand has been allocated 18.8 per cent, while Madhya Pradesh have received 16.55 per cent of the total coal allocated to the State PSUs.
And to add to the injuries, Orissa have been allocated relatively inferior coal blocks in comparison to the other states, alleged the Chief Minister.
Secondly economic viability of the allotted reserve for the state is poor, said he.
The State is interested in operating a coal block that can produce a minimum of 100 million ton per annum (MTPA) coal output.
In order to sustain this capacity over next 50 years, the state should be allocated coal blocks with a reserve of around 5000 million tones, said Mr.Patnaik.
Requesting the Prime Minister to impress upon the Ministry of Coal in this regard, he said that this amount of coal blocks may be allocated to Orissa preferably in contiguous patches.
The state owned corporations like Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC), Orissa Power Generation Corporation (OPGC), Orissa Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) and GRIDCO has the capabilities to handle coal blocks independently or jointly, said Mr.Patnaik.
He asked Dr. Man Mohan Singh to impress upon the Ministry of Coal not to allot any further allotments till a decision is taken on the Orissa' request.
Mr.Patnaik said a closer working between the Union and State Government adopting a proper strategy to facilitate fast track clearance of allocated coal blocks will go a long way to help the states.
This will ensure time bound exploration and utilization of the coal blocks, said he.
Instead of taking up a clear cut strategy for allocation of coal blocks, the Union Coal Ministry is playing politics over the issue, alleged a senior mandarin in the Ministry.
After the issue of dillydallying revision of coal royalty, the Centre is also adopting partisan policy to favor influential states at the cost of Orissa, feel insiders.
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