Ground work yet to be started at Odisha coal mines

Ground work yet to be started at Odisha coal mines
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The Odisha government has expressed concerns over the delay in commencing the production of the state’s auctioned coal blocks. As a result, the state government has been facing a huge revenue loss, as only 3 out of the 12 auctioned coal blocks are operational.

While the private sector has been revamping mining exploration, Adani coal project in the Talabira coal blocks, have already started their operations while bolstering the output and employment opportunities.

“We want to bring private players into this because we have rich minerals like coal, gold, silver, but we are not being able to bring it out. That’s why we are bringing these changes and trying to redefine exploration,” said Pralhad Joshi, the Union Minister for coals and mines.

DilipChenoy, secretary general FICCI said that due to the delay in land acquisition and statutory clearance grants, the coal blocks allocated to five public sector undertakings and four private enterprises remain nonoperational.

“I would take this opportunity to bring to your kind notice that 12 coal mines have been allocated and auctioned in Odisha since 2015 having production capacity of 97 million tonne per annum (MTPA) which will generate revenue of over `7,000 crore every year for the State exchequer, creating over 1 lakh direct and indirect local jobs,” said Chenoy.

The Manoharpur coal block of OCPL, NTPC’s Dulangana coal block and NLC’s owned Talabira II and III blocks administered by Adani, coal project, have been operationalized.  However, SCCL’s Naini block, NALCO’s Utkal-D block and OMC’s Baitrani West block have remained non-functional in the last 6 years. Adding to the list of inactive coal blocks are the ones allotted to Gujarat Electricity Corporation (Utkal-C) and Karnataka Power Corporation (Mandakini).

Though GMR and EMIL successfully bid for one block each and Vedanta for two, none of them have started operations at the coal sites.

The production capacity of the twelve auctioned coal blocks is 97 MTPA with a cumulative reserve of over 3,376 MT. According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), if the entire production capacity is administered, the State will receive the annual royalty ad val Rs. 7,287 CR.

While the Indian Prime Minister has proposed to waive off carbon taxes on coal in an attempt to reduce the sector’s debt, the sector for that matter has to mine some coal, to axe the tax!

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