PowerMin seeks fuel linkage revival for NTPC Jarkhand project
New Delhi: Pitching for NTPC's proposed North Karanpura power project at its original site in Jharkhand, the Power Ministry has moved a draft Cabinet note seeking coal linkage for the plant, although the Coal Ministry has already proposed its shifting.
"Power Ministry has moved a draft CCI note for directions to Coal Ministry for reviving fuel linkages to NTPC's proposed 1980 MW power plant citing a ministerial panel's go-ahead for the plant at the same site after down-sizing it," a government official told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
The move comes at a time when the Coal Ministry has already moved a note for Cabinet Committee of Infrastructure seeking directions to NTPC to shift the proposed 1,980 MW to another site in Jharkhand so as to free 6 billion tonnes of reserves beneath the proposed site.
The Power Ministry's move follows a GoM decision last year to reduce the size of the plant, while the Coal Ministry is still pitching for its re-location.
Both the ministries are at loggerheads on the issue for more than a decade over the plant's location. The project in Chatra district was supposed to be implemented during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12).
The official said meanwhile that the Coal Ministry had cancelled linkages granted to NTPC's proposed power project in 2009 as it had sought relocation and the matter had gone to the Group of Minister's for its consideration.
"After the GoM decision to reduce the size of the plant, the Power Ministry last week has moved a draft Cabinet note for restoration of the linkages," the official said, adding that the Coal Ministry has already moved another note in December seeking re-location of plant site and had requested for a re-look of the GoM decision.
The Coal Ministry in December had circulated a note for shifting the site of the project to Kanhakala village in Jharkhand and had sought comments from various ministries to be placed before Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure.
"The 1,980 MW project currently proposed at North Karanpura coalfields should not be allowed on the grounds that it is a potential coal bearing area with an estimated reserve of a 6 billion tonnes," it said in the note.
The GoM had earlier Constituted a panel, headed by the Planning Commission Member B K Chaturvedi, to look into the demands for relocation of the project, which had suggested two options -- relocating the proposed plant or reducing the plant size. The GoM had accepted the option for reducing size.
"The GoM's decision needs to be reconsidered due to huge coal reserves at the existing site of the proposed plant. Setting up super structures in coal bearing areas should not be allowed," the Coal Ministry note mentions.
It also stressed that issues such as adverse effect of heavy blasting in a power project, threat of inundation of low lying mines arising out of flash floods and land to be set aside for power evacuation corridors have not been adequately addressed by the committee, which submitted its report to GoM.