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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

PM 'assures' Nitish on coal linkage, promises to remove hindrances

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Patna, December 07, 2012
First Published: 19:57 IST(7/12/2012) | Last Updated: 20:02 IST(7/12/2012)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar the center would remove hindrances in the allotment of coal linkage from Urma Pahari coal block for the upcoming expansion project of the Barauni Thermal Power Station in Begusarai district of north Bihar.

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In July, the coal ministry had allocated 23 lakh tonnes coal annually from the Urma Pahari coal mines situated in Jharkhand for meeting the coal requirement for the extension units of the Barauni station.

However, the coal linkage from Urma Pahari is under threat of cancellation as per Centre's new coal block policy.

Kumar, who met the Prime Minister in New Delhi on Thursday, urged him to ensure that the tapering coal linkage provided to the Barauni power expansion project was not adversely affected, official sources in Patna said.

"The Barauni extension project is expected to add 500 MW to state's generation capacity. We are making all efforts to complete the project by July 2014. As the outer date for obtaining the environmental clearance for the project is January 31, 2013, it is imperative that the coal linkage notification is issued in due time," Kumar said.

Kumar expressed satisfaction with the assurance given to him by the Prime Minister. "I had a fruitful meeting with the PM during which he assured me about removal of obstacles in the way of allotment of coal block for Barauni thermal power plant," he said here upon arrival here from New Delhi.

He said that the issues like the proposal for direct cash transfer to the students in the new uniform scheme under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan also figured during the meeting. "I apprised Singh that the state government has been giving cash to the students," he said.

He also submitted a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to consider the special category status demand of Bihar. "I apprised him about the pledge taken by the people at the Adhikar Rally in Patna last month," he said.  

On the UPA government's victory on the FDI in multi-brand retail in Parliament, he said that the UPA government has managed the numbers through various means.

"It is clear that the UPA government is apt in managing support in Parliament through 'Jugaad technology'," Kumar said.


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