Rajasthan to mine lignite for enhanced power generation

Environmental clearance for coal mining obtained

The Congress government in Rajasthan is preparing an ambitious road map in the New Year for mining of lignite in Bikaner district’s Gudha West and the installation of a new lignite-based thermal power plant in its vicinity. The joint action plan is expected to significantly enhance the State’s power generation capacity.

The Rajasthan Vidyut Utpadan Nigam has recently obtained environmental clearance for coal mining at Parsa East and Kante Basin’s second phase in Chhattisgarh, from where the State has been getting coal for its thermal power stations. The availability of coal from Chhattisgarh was getting affected because of near-exhaustion in the first phase.

Additional Chief Secretary (Mines, Petroleum & Energy) Subodh Agarwal had said that lignite mining capacity of 10 lakh tonnes was available in Gudha West, where there was a plan to set up a power plant of 125 to 135 MW capacity in 2005 as well. Four possible options were being considered for lignite mining and power generation in the region, he said.

The Central Government’s Neyveli Lignite Corporation is already generating electricity in its power plant at Gudha East, while the power is being produced by the private sector in Bikaner district’s Barsingsar village.

Mr. Agarwal said the combined work of mining and power generation would increase the State’s power production capacity, reduce the cost of electricity and ensure the utilisation of lignite within the State. The road map will be submitted to the government after an analysis of all possible options.

Coal crisis

The Central Government had earlier allotted 1,898-hectare area for the coal blocks in Parsa East and Kante Basin to facilitate the supply of coal to the thermal power stations in Rajasthan. The State was getting coal from the region since 2013 after the approval for 762 hectares, but the crisis situation arose recently.

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