GUWAHATI, May 23 � The State Government has made an appeal to the Union Government to provide special coal linkage to the State�s proposed coal-based thermal power plants.
Disclosing this, State Power Minister Pradyut Bordoloi told The Assam Tribune here today that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has placed the request for the purpose before Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
The coal linkage request of the State for its proposed 500 MW Margherita thermal power plant is pending with the Government of India since 2009. For its 60 MW Chandrapur thermal power plant, the State placed the coal linkage request in 2007, the Minister said.
Acute power shortage is gripping various parts of the country due to the failure of the Coal India Ltd to fulfill its coal linkage promises. Areas like coastal Andhra, Gurgaon part of Haryana, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka are facing acute power shortage due to the failure of the Coal India Ltd to supply coal.
In Gurgaon area, ten-hour-long load shedding has to be resorted to in a day, while in Noida Growth Centre is facing load shedding for around four hours in a day, the Minister said.
There is a directive from the President of India to the Coal India Ltd for fulfilling coal supply agreements. On the other hand, the Union Power Minister told the State Power Minister the other day that the Central Government is going to import 55 million tonnes of coal this year from countries like Malaysia to improve the power sector coal supply position.
But here too, devaluation of the India Rupee against the US dollar has stood on the way. The Rupee devaluation has raised the price of imported coal, the Minister said.
On the issue of Chandrapur thermal project, the Minister said that the Union Coal Ministry has described the size of the project as too small and hence impossible for it to be taken into consideration for supply of coal. The State Government has a plan to expand the size of the project to 150 MW ultimately, the Minister apprised.