No instant threat to Odisha due to cancellation of coal blocks: Minister

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha energy minister Pranab Prakash Das on Wednesday evening stated that the cancellation of coal block allocations based on the Supreme Court order would have no immediate impact on the state’s power generation.

Reacting on the Supreme Court order, the minister admitted that the cancellation of 32 coal blocks allocated in the state would have a long term impact. He further stated that since the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Odisha Power Grid Corporation (OPGC) and other independent power producers in the state are already running on linked coal supplies.

Hence, there may not be immediate problem, but the state government have to assess the long term impact as the cancellation is bound to affect the companies, which have invested in the power sector in Odisha, he admitted.

It can be recalled that the Union Ministry of Coal had allocated 32 coal blocks in all for captive consumption. Even as seven had already been de-allocated by the ministry for inordinate delay in their progress as per the recommendations of the inter-ministerial group, the remaining 25 blocks now stand de-allocated after the apex court ruling. Of the 32 blocks, only the Talabira I coal block allocated to the by Aditya Birla Group has commenced production, sources informed.

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