Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday expressed concern over the decision of the Ministry of Coal to allot four coal mines of Odisha, namely Rampia, Dip side of Rampia, Ghogarpalli and Dip extension of Ghogarpalli, to Western Coalfields Limited (WCL).
The Chief Minister also argued the case for Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), which is already operating several coal mines in the region.
In a letter to Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, Naveen said operationalisation of coal mines requires close coordination with the local administration for land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement of project-affected families. “The WCL with its headquarters at Nagpur in Maharashtra may not be in a position to effectively tackle these issues, which are critical to the smooth operationalisation of coal mines,” the Chief Minister said.
He said MCL has achieved a record production of more than 143 million tonne of coal during 2017-18 and with a more focused approach towards rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected families, it can grow further in partnership with the local communities.
In this context, Naveen requested Goyal to reexamine the decision and allot the coal mines to MCL instead of another Coal India Limited (CIL) subsidiary located away from the state.
“In case, MCL is unable to handle more coal mines in view of the existing commitments, CIL may consider setting up another subsidiary for Talcher Coalfields and MCL may further scale up its operations in the Valley region,” he added.