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Maharashtra to seek people's nod for Chhattisgarh coal block on Sept 27

Allotted the block in 2015, MahaGenco has been trying to complete the process of public hearing the past one year, but is up against protesting villagers and environmental activists

R Krishna Das  |  Raipur 

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After two vain attempts, Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (MahaGenco) would be making third late September to get people’s consent to develop a coal block allotted to it in Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh district.

The Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board (CECB), acting on the plea of MahaGenco, had convened a public hearing for developing Gare Palma sector-II coal block. The public hearing for environment clearance for the project will be held on September 27 at Dolesara village of Tamnaar tehsil in Raigarh.

Maharashtra’s state-run power company, which was allotted the block in 2015, has been trying to complete the process of public hearing for the past one year. The first hearing, set for April 17, 2018, was deferred and rescheduled for June 27, 2019. But that too couldn't be held and was postponed.

Villagers in the district are up in arms against the project, and environment activists have also swung into action. The last public hearing was postponed after Ramesh Agrawal, Director of non-government organisation Jan Chetana, challenged it in the court of law. The activists are gearing up to register a strong protest against the project in the upcoming public hearing.

The Maharashtra government is desperate to develop and operate the coal block. It had appointed Adani Enterprises Ltd as mine developer and operator (MDO). The coal block is spread across 2,583.48 hectares and has geological reserves of 1,059.76 million tonnes.

MahaGenco plans to produce 23.60 million tonnes per annum of coal from the mine and feed its power plants in Koradi, Chandrapur and Parli.

First Published: Mon, August 26 2019. 17:27 IST