The Cabinet Committee on Investment on Wednesday met for the second time to review coal and power projects stuck due to infrastructural hurdles.. The Prime Minister-headed panel gave its go-ahead to NTPC's North Karanpura power project. But regarding the problems related to coal mines, the panel of ministers asked the coal ministry to remove the hurdles via consultations with other ministries, reports CNBC-TV18's Rituparna Bhuyan.
The North Karanpura power project symbolises the kind of delays that have derailed infrastructure projects across the country. After being announced in the mid-1990s, the project received approval in 2000, but in 2008 the approval was withdrawn as the proposed site held a huge coal reserve. Coal India (CIL) has been requesting NTPC to change the location of the power project. The project, as a result, was delayed.
NTPC will go ahead and build a power project on the same site and once the 35-year term of the power project is complete, the infrastructure at the site would be dismantled and the land will be handed to Coal India Limited for purposes of mining.
Of the 45 coal-mining projects on the CCI’s agenda today, most have been delayed due to environmental hazards. Only 6 were approved on Wednesday by the CCI. The rest 31 projects have been lobbed back to the coal ministry which will now sit and sort out issues with the ministry of environment.
It remains to be seen if the coal ministry is able to convince the ministry of environment and is able set these coal projects in motion.