The electricity situation is set to improve in power-starved Bihar with the Centre assuring to provide coal linkage to Barauni thermal power projects soon. Assurance to this effect was given by Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal. "Notification will be issued in this regard in the next 2-4 days," Jaiswal, who was here last night on a short visit, told PTI. Bihar has been seeking coal linkage for two new power units at Barauni of 250 MW each. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had last year led an all-party delegation to the Prime Minister in support of the demand.
Barauni thermal power project would get coal supply from Orma coal block of Jharkhand. The Union Coal minister, who was here to inaugurate a hotel of Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari, said the Centre would also sympathetically consider the state government's request for coal linkages for other power projects. Seeking to fast track the execution of various power projects in Bihar, the Chief Minister had urged Planning Commission to facilitate early coal linkage/coal blocks. In a letter to Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in the first week of January, Kumar drew his attention towards coal requirement for the eight proposed thermal power plants in Bihar and called for his intervention. Enhancement of power supply has been the top priority of the Bihar government. Per capita energy consumption in the state stands at 117 kwh in comparison to national average of 813 kwh. The Chief Minister has announced that he would not go to seek votes in the next Assembly elections in 2015 if he failed to add power availability in the state.