‘Final decision on coal block allocation rests with Centre’

Amid raging controversy over allotment of coal blocks and the CBI investigation into the matter, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said he had committed no wrong in requesting the Prime Minister to consider a proposal from Hindalco for allocation of a coal block in the State.

Mr. Patnaik said he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister in August 2005, indicating Hindalco’s request for the Talabira II coal block in the Ib valley of Jharsuguda district be examined, keeping the best interests of the State in mind. “The State government has all along held that priority be given to units adding more value in our State,” he said in a statement.