Inordinate delay to develop Utkal D & E Coal Block .

Inordinate delay to develop Utkal D & E Coal Block .

Bhubaneswar, 08-08-21
  PSU  NALCO has failed to develop Utkal D and Utkal E coal block at Chhendipada of Angul even after long 5years of allotment , leads to seriously affecting its  energy security . Government of India has allocated these two coal blocks to Nalco  on May , 2016 for fuel supply to the captive power plant .
    After the allotment , Nalco supposed to develop the coal blocks within 44 months . But even after lapses of 5 years , for complete land acquisition process , required PLRRC ( Project Land Rehabilitation & Resettlement Committee ) meeting has not held yet . Yet not the high power RPDAC meeting has not held and for which RR package has not been finalised for the affected people . It has again lead to inordinate delay to start the mining work . Seven villages of Chhendipada block namely Nandighos , Raijharan , Kosala, Gopinathpur Jungle , Kundajharinala and Similisahi will be affected by the coal mines . Likely around  700 extended families of these  villages will be displaced . Apart from it , vast common property resources and ecology will be affected by the above coal mines . “While RR package has not yet finalised even after long 5 years for this most important project , further most delay of the project will seriously affect the energy security of the company “- told Mr Pradeep Panda , Advocate  and Secretary “ Citizen Action Forum “
  Even government auditor CAG suggested the PSU to develop the blocks at the earliest. "Nalco was not able to develop the coal blocks allotted by government for supply of coal to the captive power plant for generation of required power for smelter plant. “

"The recommendations of CAG to the NALCO/Ministry (Mines)...the allotted coal blocks may be developed at the earliest to ensure supply of coal to the Captive Power Plant," the CAG had said in its report tabled in Parliament. 

 Previously in August 2004 , the  Government of India had allotted Utkal-E block  to Nalco to meet the additional requirement of coal for CPP towards its capacity expansion from 960 MW to 1200 MW. However Nalco had failed to implement the project in due time and subsequently faced cancellation of allocation of Utkal E Coal Block, following Supreme Court’s order to de-allocate 204 coal blocks across the country.

The same was again re-allotted by the GoI along with another coal block (Utkal-D) to the Company in 2016. However , both the above captive coal blocks are  yet to be developed for production of coal
The Smelter Plant comprised of 960 pots15 in 4 potlines and generally 935 pots were operated at a time. It was observed that the average number of pots in operation ranged from 648 pots to 842 pots due to non-availability of adequate power supply from the CPP for want of required coal in specific time and year . Moreover, the Company could not reap the full benefits of the capacity expansion of CPP and Smelter Plant after investing `2,986 crore.
The Management many times  stated that production of Aluminium in Smelter Plant was restricted keeping in view the availability of economical power from CPP. Ministry also endorsed the views of the Management.

In view of this CAG also previously asked Nalco to develop coal blocks at earliest to ensure fuel supply to power plant