Nagpur: The Ministry of Coal’s proposal for excavation of coal in Mahajanwadi Coal Block which falls under Hingna tehsil, the people living in areas like Wanadongri, Hingna, Dhangarpura, Dahapura, Sukali, Takali, Sumthana, Mondha and Panjari were haunted with the fear of losing their houses.
The fear that haunted these people was that if this proposal of mining in this area gets approved, they would lose their houses that they have been living for years and for generations. The people have been staging their protest against the mining proposal. After considering the protests and the fear in the people, Guardian Minister and Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has assured the people of the area that he would not allow injustice to be meted out to them.
When this issue acquired a political colour, Guardian Minister and Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule addressed a press meet and while speaking to media personnel said that the MAHAGENCO will not get any benefit from mining in this area. Therefore the stand of the Government is clear on Mahajanwadi Coal Mines and therefore will request the Central Government to take out a denotification notice on the Mahajanwadi Coal Mines.
In order to ensure the firm stand, the Energy Minister has taken out a tender notice for carrying out the research study on the project to a Project Management Consultancy. The newly constituted Project Management Consultancy will submit a detailed report to the Energy Ministry. On the basis of the report, the State Government will request the Central Government to take a decision to stop the mining project proposal.
According to the Energy Minister, even if the Mahajanwadi Coal Mines starts its mining, it will not be a profitable venture for MAHAGENCO.
He claimed that around 3 million tons of coal can be produced from the Mahajanwadi Coal Mines but the cost of rehabilitation of the people living in this area will be of more costly.
According to the new Land Acquisition Policy, Ready Reconer of the area, Metro Region Plan, the cost of rehabilitation of the people will be expensive and unprofitable. Therefore it will not be beneficial to start the mines here. Even if the mines are started here, more than one lakh people living in nearly 7500 thousand acres of green belt will be affected. This is one more reason why the government is hesitant in starting a mine in this area.
This mine not profitable to the State Government
The Central Government had in collaboration with Maharashtra and Gujarat Government had started the MAHAGUJ Joint Venture and had given the contractual services of MAHAGENCO and JSCL Company on September 6, 2013.
On March 31, 2015, the coal ministry had decided to initiate mining in Mahajanwadi for power generation for Maharashtra.
On April 22, 2016 MAHAGENCO signed an agreement with Ministry of Coal for excavation of coal in Mahajanwadi coal block which falls under Hingna tehsil and they received a letter to this effect too.
The coal taken out from Mahajanwadi Coal Mines was to fulfill the requirement of power generation for Nashik Parel, and Bhushawal. In order to ensure that the mine stays in their control, the State Government had completed all the procedures and had also deposited a bank guarantee of Rs 120 crores. However, now according to the Energy Minister, this coal mines will not be profitable for the State Government. The requirement of the government is 45 MMT Coal. This requirement is already been fulfilled easily and WCL alone is fulfilling 25 MMT coal which can be increased in future too.
Gatepalam Mines allocated to MAHAGENCO more profitable
The State Government was allocated Gatepalam Open Mines in Raigad of Chhattisgarh besides Mahajan Mines. The Gatepalam Open Mines is situated in an open area too so the worry of rehabilitation of people does not arise which in turn will save huge funds needed for rehabilitation too. Since this is an open mine, the cost of coal mining too is significantly less. This mine will yield 50 million tons of coal. This mine will fulfill the coal needs of the state alone. The State will ensure a profit of Rs 500 crores from this mine.
PMC will study the case for one month and give the investigation report
The recently constituted PMC by the Energy Ministry to study the Mahajanwadi mine will submit its investigative report in one month’s time. The State Government will decide on the plan of action. The Energy Minister has appealed to the people not to get waivered by political influence and has assured that no injustice will be meted out to them.