Bhubaneswar, April 12 : Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday requested the Centre to allot four coal mines of the state to Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) instead of Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) for the smooth operation of the mines.
However, the Coal Ministry has decided to allot four coal mines -- Odisha-Rampia, dip side of Rampia, Ghogarpalli, and dip extension of Ghogarpalli -- to WCL instead of MCL, which is already operating several coal mines in the region.
"The matter may be re-examined and the aforementioned coal mines of Odisha may be allotted to the MCL instead of another Coal India Limited (CIL) subsidiary located away from the state," said the Chief Minister in a letter to Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal.
In case MCL is unable to handle more coal mines in view of its existing commitments, CIL may consider setting up another subsidiary for Talcher Coalfield and MCL may further scale up its operations in the Ib Valley region, he added.
Patnaik informed that the operation of the coal mines requires close coordination with the local administration for land acquisition, rehabilitation, and resettlement of project affected families.
The WCL with its headquarters at Maharashtra's Nagpur may not be in a position to effectively tackle the issues, which are critical to the smooth operation of coal mines, he added.
"The MCL has achieved a record production of more than 143 million tonnes of coal during the FY2017-18 and with a more focused approach towards rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected families, it can grow further in partnership with the local communities," said Patnaik.