Centre delaying Jharkhand power project, says Munda

July 29th, 2011 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Ranchi, July 29 (IANS) Blaming the central government for delays, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda has demanded that a 1,900 MW thermal power project announced in 1999 be cleared in the interest of the power-starved state and the country.

“The central government should respect former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who announced the thermal power project,” Munda told IANS.

“The coal ministry wants to stall the project on the ground that there are coal deposits 300 metres below the project site. The stand is uncalled for.”

Vajpayee had unveiled the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) project in North Karanpura coalfields of Hazaribagh district in 1999 when Jharkhand was part of Bihar.

The state government failed to provide land till April 2004 when Vajpayee was the prime minister. Now the state government says the central government is sitting idle on the project.

According to an official of the state government, after the union coal ministry’s objection, it has been referred to by the central government in April this year to a group of ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

“We will take up the issue with the central government. We hope the central government will respect Vajpayee by clearing the project instead of moving ahead with the coal ministry objection to scrap it. If the project is completed, it will not only help Jharkhand but other parts of the country also,” said Munda.

“Jharkhand is a producer of minerals, including coal, and it has yet to get its major share in different projects,” he said.

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