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Penganga open cast mine will benefit farmers

Devendra Fadnavis

Nagpur:  Western Coalfields’ (WCL) Penganga open cast project will benefit the people in nearby areas as ample coal will be available to Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (MahaGenco) to provide electricity at cheaper rates, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said.

When the mine is fully operational, the youths from nearby areas will get employment opportunities and farmers will receive a total package of Rs 125 crore for land acquisition, Fadnavis said after inaugurating the project at Wani in Chandrapur district here yesterday.

“The new project will bring all round happiness in the lives of farmers from the area with enhanced compensation from land acquisition, employment to their wards and uninterrupted power supply from MahaGenco,” he said.

The state government has given a sanction after completing all the formalities within two months for the Penganga project, with the only condition that the rivers in the area will not be polluted, he said.

The WCL extended a financial help of Rs 2 crore to district collector of Chandrapur for cleaning of Irai river, Fadnavis said.

On the occasion, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said he was happy that the company has set its vision to produce 60 MT coal by 2019-20 at a cumulative annualised growth rate of about 8.6 per cent.

WCL will open 24 new mines in the coming two years.

The additional coal production will result in development of Vidarbha, he added.

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, MoS for Chemical and Fertilisers Hansraj Ahir, Maharashtra’s Power Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Coal India Limited’s Chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya and WCL’s CMD R R Mishra were also present on the occasion.

The WCL has achieved its target of opening three projects slated for 2014-15. With capital outlay of Rs 901 crore, these projects, on achieving full capacity, will result in coal production of seven million tonnes in Maharashtra, a company release said.

About 6 MT of coal produced from these projects will be supplied to power plants for generation of electricity and nearly 1 MT of coal will be supplied to other consumers in the state, it said.

Direct employment opportunities for more than 1,000 persons have been created for eligible land oustees.

Additional royalty and taxes to the tune of Rs 378 crore per year (Rs 171 crore for Maharashtra and Rs 207 crore for central government) will be paid by WCL, it added.

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