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Coal miners rush to Raipur

R Krishna Das  |  Kolkata/ Raipur 

With Chhattisgarh becoming a dream destination for thermal power projects, a mad rush follows to get coal blocks in the state.
The union government has received about 750 applications from more than 150 companies seeking allocation of coalmines in Chhattisgarh.
"The state government has information of 745 applications submitted by more than 150 companies for about 10 coal blocks available in the state. The union government has sought the recommendation of the state before the screening committee of the ministry of coal takes final decision over allocation of blocks," a senior state government official told Business Standard.
Of the coal blocks, maximum are located in Korba and Raigarh districts. The state has a reserve of 39975 million tones of coal""about 16.13 per cent of the total coal reserve in the country.

The huge coal reserves in the vicinity are offering cheap pithead power generation opportunities; making the private companies to rush for getting allocation of blocks for setting up power plants in the state.

As of now, the state government has inked pacts for a total investment of Rs 80,000 crore in the power sector alone.
After the execution of the pacts, Chhattisgarh will produce 20,000 Mw of power by 2011. Though the state authorities feel that the state has a potential to produce upto 50,000 Mw of power, Chhattisgarh has already expressed its ability to become the Power Hub of India.
"The private companies planning investment in Chhattisgarh are now switching over to power generation instead of steel," the official said, adding that the state has limited iron-ore deposit now.
In fact, the has also stopped inviting new proposal in the steel sector and has clarified that it will sign pact for new steel plant subject to the availability of iron ore deposit.
The state has 2120 million tonnes of iron ore reserve that shares 18.55 per cent of country's total iron ore deposits. Only two blocks are left in Bailadilla hills in Dantewada district while more than a dozen companies are in queue to get one.

First Published: Thu, July 05 2007. 00:00 IST