The Centre has assured Arunachal Pradesh of resumption in coal mining at Namchik-Namphuk coalfield in the troubled Changlang district which was suspended since May 10, 2012.
The assurance was given by Union Minister of State for Coal, Power and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) Piyush Goyal during a meeting with Chief Minister Nabam Tuki in New Delhi yesterday, a statement from the CMO said here today. Goyal has also instructed senior officials of the Coal Ministry to depute teams for carrying out survey of other coal rich areas of the state, it said. The Minister mooted the selling of the excess coal produced in the Namchik-Namphuk coalfield to National Thermal Power Corporation to increase the revenue of the state. The government recently suspended coal mining in Arunachal Pradesh on the suspicion of illegal miners supporting extremists in the state.
The Namchik-Namphuk coalfield was allocated to the Arunachal Pradesh Mineral Development and Trading Corporation Ltd (APMDTCL) on October 28, 2003 by the Coal Ministry. The total area of the coal block is 133.65 hectares and the mining lease is being held by the corporation for a period of 20 years. Out of the total area allocated, the operation of open-cast mining was undertaken only on 39.02 hectares between April 2007 and February 2012. The total extraction of coal during the period was at 10,00,000 metric tonnes till the mining operation was suspended.
While briefing the Goyal about the various issues related to the hydropower sector, Tuki sought the help of power ministry in fast tracking of clearances, development of critical infrastructure like roads and bridges for the hydropower and local area development near project sites, among other things. Goyal, while assuring his support has asked his officials to look into fast tracking of all proposals received from Arunachal Pradesh.
A joint meeting of the Power, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Environment & Forests ministries would be convened soon to discuss the pending issues related to the state, the statement said. Secretary (Ministry of Non Renewable Energy) who was also present in the meeting was directed to visit the border areas of the state to study the prospects of non conventional energy sources for the benefit of the local populace. He was asked to devise special schemes for the state. Tuki emphasised on the need for a regional grid for transmission of power and said the Centre should consider strengthening of transmission systems in the state. Goyal had further said that the Power ministry had resolved the impasse related to the 2000 mw Lower Subansiri Project at Gerukamukh and that the remaining works of the project would resume shortly, the statement added.