The six new power plants proposed by Mahagenco with a total capacity of 3,250 mw may go without coal because of land acquisition problem for a captive coal block in Odisha.
These plants are scheduled to be commissioned by 2013 end and 2014. Union government allotted a captive block - Machhakata (district Angul, Odisha) to Mahagenco and its Gujarat counterpart GSECL in February 2006.
Coal needed for these units along with some of the proposed ones in the state and a few units in Gujarat is to be supplied from Machhakata. A washery is also planned near the mine. Even after six years, not a single square inch land has been acquired so far due to vehement opposition from the owners.
Genco and GSECL had formed a joint venture Mahaguj Collieries in 2007 to mine the coal. It is learnt that so far only a notice under Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act has been issued by the Odisha government. This means that no one can sell or purchase land in the area earmarked for the mine.
Last December, a law and order situation was created during the public hearing for environmental clearance when the villagers ransacked and set the venue on fire.
The mine does not have environmental clearance and mining lease. Mahaguj needs to acquire over 3,000 hectare land for the mine. Industrial Development Corporation of Orissa (IDCO) is handling it on behalf of Mahaguj and is being assisted by the mine operator Adani Power.
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