Nagpur: State-run power generation company Mahagenco will soon begin the coal mining operation from Gare Pelma II coal block in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh. The company has bagged lease for the same and now can begin the process of land acquisition.
As per the deadline given by the Union ministry of coal, Mahagenco has to start production by December 2019.
Shyam Wardhane, director (mining) of Mahagenco, told a leading daily that the extractable coal reserve was estimated at 656 MT as against the total reserve of 1,059 MT. The capacity of Gare Pelma II was 50 million metric tonnes (MMT) per annum. “We will mine coal as per requirement. It will meet our coal requirement for coming 30 years,” he said.
The importance of the mine can be understood from the fact that the present requirement of the generation company is 46 MMT. This coal is mostly supplied by WCL and the remaining by SECL, MCL and SCCL. Against this, a single mine will supply 50 MMT coal.
Wardhane said the mine was spread over 2,589 hectares covering 14 villages. “We will hold gram sabhas in each of these villages and seek approval for the mine. As per the new rehabilitation act, we will provide them four times the market price for the land acquired. In addition, one member of the affected families will get a job in the mine. If this is not possible, then cash compensation of Rs 5 lakh will be given,” he added.
The ministry of coal had allotted the block for Mahagenco’s new and upcoming six units — two of 500 MW power at Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station, three of 660 MW at Koradi and one of 250 MW at Parli thermal power station. In addition, the company also plans to set up a 4,000 MW power plant near the mine to reduce cost of power generation.
Mahagenco was earlier allotted the Machhakatta block in Odisha, but it was scrapped by the Supreme Court . Now, the future of the company completely depends on Gare Pelma II block.