Jaiswal dismisses Nitish`s charge on coal linkages

Union Minister of State for Coal, Sriprakash Jaiswal today rubbished the charge of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar that the Centre was not providing coal linkages for setting up thermal power plants in the state.

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2010, 18:46 PM IST

Patna: Union Minister of State for Coal,
Sriprakash Jaiswal today rubbished the charge of Bihar Chief
Minister Nitish Kumar that the Centre was not providing coal
linkages for setting up thermal power plants in the state and
said the Centre had already cleared coal linkage to four power
plants in the state.

"We have already provided coal linkage to four power
plants -- two at Nabinagar and one each at Muzaffarpur and
Barh --- during the 11th five year plan period," Jaishwal told
reporters here.

The state government`s request for coal linkages during
the past six months would be processed and allocated during
the 12th five year plan period commencing from April 1, 2012
provided the state government gave an undertaking about
providing water and land for the power projects, Jaiswal said.

He said the Centre had the right to ask the Nitish
Kumar government as to why the state government failed start
coal prospecting on two coal blocks that were allocated to the
state for setting up power plants.

Jaiswal said two coal blocks -- Orma Pahari Tola and
Sariya Koyatand in Jharkhand having coal reserve of 700
million tonnes and 200 million tonnes respectively were
provided to the Bihar state Mining Development Corporation in
2006 and 2007.

He said if the state government had initiated measures
to start mining on these two coal blocks then it would not
have to apply for providing coal linkage to the proposed power
plants.

Jaiswal said "the Centre has every right to ask the
Bihar government about the status of coal blocks having coal
reserves of 900 million tonnes that were provided to the state
government," and added instead of indulging in blame game the
Bihar government should tell the truth.

PTI