Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cut the number of coal blocks reserved for the power sector and allot more mines for auction for the non-regulated sectors.
In a letter to Modi, Patnaik said several companies had invested in the non-regulated sector comprising steel, aluminium and cement industries and their captive power plants (CPP) in the state would face shortage of coal to run their captive plants.
He said 58 industries of Odisha had a total installed captive power generation capacity of more than 7,500 MW, with an approximate annual coal requirement of more than 50 million tonnes. “Of this, 13 larger industrial units with CPP’s of more than 100 MW alone account for 5,000 MW capacity,” said Patnaik.
He said these industries would be at a great disadvantage due to non-earmarking of adequate number of coal blocks to meet their captive requirement. Patnaik said of the nine coal blocks of Odisha earmarked for auction, only one mine had been reserved for the non-regulated sector. Likewise, 10 coal blocks were meant for allotment meant for the power sector.
“The disproportionately high extent of earmarking of the coal blocks of Odisha for the power sector would not only affect the end-user mineral based industries of the state but also reduce the revenue benefits to the state due to the reverse bidding procedure followed for the power sector,” said Patnaik.
Saying Odisha had about a quarter of India’s coal reserves, he said out of the revenue of more than Rs.1 lakh crore from the coal blocks auctioned till now, the state’s share was expected to be less than one percent. (IANS)