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Patnaik seeks Goyal’s intervention to resolve Odisha matters pending with Centre




 Expressing concern over delay in resolving a number of issues pertaining to power, coal, mining leases and forest clearance, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought urgent intervention of Union Minister for Mines, Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal.

During his meeting with Goyal here on Thursday Patnaik pointed out that a number of important issues relating to power, coal, mining leases and forest clearance have remained pending with the Union Government for quite some time.

These issues have significant bearing on power generation including supply of affordable clean power to consumers, mining operations and resources of the State, Patnaik told Goyal.

Chief Minister impressed upon the Union Minister to expedite allocation of suitable coal block(s) in favour of Odisha Thermal Power Corporation (OTPC) in lieu of Tentuloi Coal Block which is proposed to be cancelled.

He further desired that Ministry of Power may consider selection of beneficiaries under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) utilizing the Socio Economic Caste Census (SECC) Data of 2011 to ensure better and wider coverage of deprived households in the State.

All hydro electric power plants above 25MW including pump storage plants may be considered as renewable sources of energy, Patnaik said while urging upon the Union Minister to sanction funds to the tune of 75% of the project cost from National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) for implementation of the pump storage hydro power plants to make clean power affordable to the consumers.

Highlighting that the standard bidding documents for Ultra Mega Power Project at Bedabahal, Sundargarh have remained pending for over a year, he requested the Union Minister to expedite their finalization and initiate the bidding process for early implementation of the 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project.

Patnaik underscored the need for enhancing the royalty on coal at the earliest since this is long overdue as the last revision was carried out in May-June, 2012.

“Share at least 60% of the funds collected towards Clean Environment Cess with the respective coal bearing States and transfer the additional levy of Rs.295 per tonne collected from the prior allocatees of Schedule-II Coal Blocks to Odisha at the earliest”, Patnaik urged the Union Minister.

Further, the Chief Minister mentioned that the approval granted in favour of Odisha Mining Corporation for Silijora-Guruda-Balda-Kalimati (SGBK) Mines in Keonjhar District requires amendment at the earliest well before 12.1.2017 to include Iron Ore in addition to the approved Manganese Ore.

He urged that the Ministry of Mines may expedite the grant of mining leases for Bauxite in Rayagada and Kalahandi Districts.

Chief Minister suggested an amendment to Section 6(1) (b) of the MMDR Act to exempt public sector undertakings and captive user industries from operation of the area limit.

Taking up issues relating to Ministry of Environment & Forests, Patnaik impressed upon the Union Minister to follow up with Ministry of Environment & Forests for ensuring forest clearance under Section 2(iii) of the Forests Conservation Act, 1980 well before 12.1.2017 for all the Mines for which Ministry of Mines has already granted prior approval.

Further, the conditional approvals granted under Section 2(iii) may be waived off and these may be allowed to be complied with during the course of Section 2(ii) approval under Forests Conservation Act, 1980, he added.

Chief Minister also underscored the need to simplify the procedure for grant of approvals under FC Act for undertaking prospective operations.

Sources said Goyal appreciated the genuine concerns of the State and assured that early action would be taken on the pending issues and the suggestions made by the  Chief Minister will be considered expeditiously.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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