The country’s largest power producer NTPC Ltd has again hit a hurdle for its proposed Katwa project after the coal block which was linked to the project was surrendered.

State-owned West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd (WBPDCL) has returned the Damagoria coal block since the Mamata Banerjee-led state government was unwilling to either relocate six villages or move the Grand Trunk Road some 7 km for a proposed mining project there.

“We need 150 acres of land more for the Katwa thermal power project and almost 99 per cent of the owners have given their consent. But, the coal block which was linked to the project has been surrendered by the state government,” NTPC chairman and managing dirctor Arup Roy Chowdhury said.

So far, the project has 565 acres of land which was acquired by the erstwhile Left government.

Roychowdhury said they will talk to the state government to allocate block from new mines for the 1320 MW (660Mwx2) thermal power project at Katwa which had been transfered by WBPDCL to NTPC.

The project would require seven million tonnes of coal annually.

Meanwhile, on the remaining 150 acres, NTPC will act according to the new land acquisition policy.

Asked how the company was able to bring down the land requirement from 1050 acres, Roychowdhury said new technology, compromise on township and a revised plan on fly ash management have been able to scale down the land requirement.

Initially, NTPC had planned for super critical (800MW x2) 1600 MW power plant but land scarcity and other factors led to it being scaled down to (660MW x2) 1320 MW project.

Meanwhile, Roychowdhury said in case of Adra power project, the JV with Indian Railways has also failed to secure any coal block.

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