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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, November 28, 2012
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday urged his Jharkhand counterpart Arjun Munda to resume coal supply by resolving the deadlock due to the ongoing political agitation and avert the closure of thermal power plants in the border state.
Badal wrote a letter to the Jharkhand CM, urging him to resolve the issue at the earliest to pave the way for smooth and uninterrupted supply of coal to Punjab.

The supply has been hampered due to an agitation over rehabilitation and compensation to the affected people.

The government spokesperson said the Pachwara (central) coal block in Pakkur district of Jharkhand was allotted to the erstwhile Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in 2002 and was being operated by Panem Coal Mines Limited, a joint venture company of the PSEB and EMTA Coal Limited.

Thermal power stations of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) had been receiving 5-6 coal rakes daily. But the supplies have been disrupted due to the agitation spearheaded by former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi, who is demanding a proper rehabilitation package for the people. The protesters have been holding a dharna near the coal mine, blocking the approach road to the mine and resulting in total disruption of transportation from the mines to the railway sidings. The Punjab chief minister said mining operations had reportedly come to a standstill.

Badal pointed out that efforts made by Panem Coal Mines Limited and the local administration to clear Marandi's "misunderstanding" had not been successful till now.