New Delhi: The government may soon take a call on relocating power major NTPC's proposed North Karanpura project in Jharkhand to another site in the state.
"The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) which is likely to meet on Tuesday may take up the issue of relocation of the NTPC's power plant in Jharkhand, as the site proposed earlier was on potential six billion tonnes of coal reserves," a senior government official said.
The Ministry of Coal had earlier circulated a note in this regard to various ministries seeking their comments.
"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 six billion tonnes," the Coal Ministry note mentioned.
It added the alternative site is proposed near Kanhakala village in Jharkhand.
Coal India arm the Central Mine Planning & Design Institute (CMPDI) too had earlier made a suggestion to shift the project to another location.
A Group of Ministers (GoM) had last year constituted a sub-panel to look into demands of relocation of the project.
The panel, headed by Planning Commission Member B K Chaturvedi, had suggested two options, relocating the proposed plant or reducing the plant size.
The GoM had accepted the option of making the proposed plant smaller.
"A Group of Ministers' 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 had said.
It also said 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, land to be set aside for power evacuation corridors have not been adequately addressed by the committee, which submitted its report to the GoM.
The Coal Ministry is of the view that if these facts are taken into account, the proposal for setting up the power plant in the North Karanpura coalfield will not be appropriate.