Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday renewed his demand for a rethink on the Centre’s coal policy that he said is hurting the state’s ability to provide electricity to its people.
The cost of procuring coal has been on the rise as demand for the natural resource has steadily increased. Bihar has been hurt more than the others as it lost out on royalties it received from coal mining from Jharkhand, which was carved out as a new state in 2000.
The problem has turned worse as the state has not been provided with a dedicated link with any of the mines in operation.
“Not a single new coal linkage was provided to Bihar during the 11th five-year plan period and nothing seems to be in store for us in the 12th plan,” he said. Kumar said it was the state’s right to receive coal linkages for expansion of its existing power plants and for the new ones.
He said he would lead an all-party delegation of MPs and legislatures to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to provide coal linkage to upcoming thermal power plants.
He made the comments at a meet organised by Hindi daily Hindustan to commemorate 100 years of Bihar’s existence..
Bihar was separated from the province of Bengal in 1912 following the annulment of the latter’s partition.
The meet — Hindustan Samagam — was attended by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Rajya Sabha member NK Singh, Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil B Mittal and HT Media chairperson and editorial director Shobhana Bhartia.
Hindustan Times and Hindustan are published by HT Media.