Patna: The Rs60,000 crore 12,500 MW power projects cleared by the State Investment Planning Board (SIPB) which could change the face of Bihar if commissioned, has not taken off as coal linkage has not been been granted by the Centre and because of land acquistion problems.
“We have written to the Centre for providing coal linkages for 14 projects. We are worried at their progress. The chief minister has also written to the Prime Minister drawing his attention to the problem,” C.K.Mishra, principal secretary, energy said.
These projects also faced land acquisition problems with the state government keeping in mind the trouble at Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal.
“The progress on land acquisition of some of the proposed power projects were satisfactory, but some were progressing at a snail’s pace,” Mishra said.
“The Centre has also failed to adhere to its commitment to supply coal to Bihar’s existing power plants leading to closure of the Barauni Thermal Power Station (BTPS),” he said.
“We have been getting supply from the Mugma colliery for BTPS, which generates 70 MW to 80 MW daily, but for one month there has been shortage of coal due to which production has stopped in the last ten days,” Mishra said.
“The unit was getting a rake or two sometimes which was not sufficient to continue production. We have written to the Government of India on the coal crisis for the existing units as it has affected production,” he said.
Official sources also informed that the shortage of coal to BTPS was largely due to the ongoing strike at the colliery for which it was getting half of 35,000 tonne of regular supply.
“The other thermal power plant at Muzaffarpur was funtioning well producing 90 MW of electricity per day,” Mishra added.
JAS Infrastructure Capital Pvt. Ltd, which has signed an MoU with Bihar government for setting up a four units of 660 MW at Banka for which the coal ministry has allotted a block at Mahuagarhi, has made some progress identifying 1850 acre for acquisition.
Kolkata’s Nalanda Power Company which intends to set up a 2000 MW plant at Pirpainty in Bhagalpur, has also identified 600 acre for acquisition and has also applied for a coal block.
Similarly, Cement Manufacturing Company, Kolkata has so far identified 600 acre for its 500 MW project and has also applied for a coal block.
Triton Energy Ltd. has also made some progress on land acquisition for its 1320 MW plant at Nabinagar in Aurangabad and identified 14,00 acre.
Besides these plants, the other proposed thermal projects which were cleared by the SIPB, but did not make any headway on account of land acquisition and coal blocks were — Adhunik Power and Natural Resources Ltd, Kolkata (1000 MW plant at Bhagalpur), IL & FS, New Delhi (500 MW at Motipur in Muzaffarpur) Subhash Project and Marketing Ltd (1200 MW plant at Lakhisarai).
The other projects cleared but land not identified for setting up power plants included — Vikas Metal and Power Ltd, Kolkata (500 MW at Begusarai), India Power Corporation Ltd, Kolkata, Krishak Bharti Cooperative, New Delhi, Aston Field Renewable Resources Ltd, Kolkata (100 MW biogas based unit), Saran Energy Ltd (10 MW biogas based unit) and Reliance Industries Ltd (5 MW solar power based unit at Patna).
If these proposed power projects were successfully synchronised it would not only make Bihar a power surplus state with an additional 12,580 MW, but also provide jobs to nearly 15,000 people directly.