Rajasthan seeks Chhattisgarh’s help to start coal mining for power projects

Rajasthan government has sought the intervention of the Chhattisgarh government for an early start of coal mining to help supplement fuel supplies for its electricity-generating projects at a time when the state is facing a power crunch.

Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (RRVUNL) has invested heavily in the commissioning of 4,400 MW of thermal power stations, which are supposed to source coal from theParsa East Kanta Basan (PEKB), Parsa and Kente Extension coal blocks in Chhattisgarh. The three blocks are estimated to have an annual production of close to 30 million tonne. However, it has been able to produce only half of it from the first phase of PEKB block while both Parsa and Kente extension coal blocks are yet to take off. The two blocks have got forest clearance and permission has been issued for tree felling.However, some locals with the support of a few NGOs are creating problems in the commencement of mining operations in coal blocks the state had been allocated.Rajasthan may plunge into a severe power crisis if it fails to kick start coal production from the second phase of PEKB block where it is not possible to recover coal anymore from the first phase. Also, coal production from Parsa and Kente Extension blocks is critical for Rajasthan’s energy security in the future.