The central government Friday sanctioned enhanced coal linkage for thermal plants in Punjab, a demand pending with the union coal ministry since April 2011, state government officials said.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that the central government's decision would help the thermal plants generate more power.
The enhanced coal linkage has been allowed for Talwandi Sabo Thermal Power Plant (TPP) and Rajpura Thermal Power Plant matching their installed capacities of 1,980 MW and 1,400 MW respectively.
Badal had taken up the matter of coal shortage with union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal.
"The union minister has agreed to grant two lakh tonnes of coal per month for Goindwal Sahib TPP, which would enable Punjab to fully utilize the 540 MW capacity of the plant which was lying idle for want of coal," a spokesman of the chief minister's office said here.
Badal appealed to the central government to frame a policy to reduce coal transportation costs, especially for land-locked states like Punjab which are far-away from coal pitheads.
He also demanded that there should be 100 percent domestic coal linkage for power plants located in Punjab and other land-locked states and imported coal should be used by coastal states.