Blaming the Centre for “non- cooperation” even for development projects, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced setting up of a new venture to develop the country’s largest coal mine in the State.
Ms. Banerjee said that a special purpose vehicle - Bengal Birbhum Coalfields Ltd. - as been created to develop the mine at Deocha-Pachami in Birbhum district.
The block has been offered jointly to West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited, she added.
Deocha Pachami coal block is the largest coal block in the country with 2,102 million tonnes of coal in reserve.
Bengal would get the largest share of coal with 584 million tonnes from the block, followed by Bihar with a share of 486 million tonnes.
The SPV will develop India’s largest coal mine in Deocha-Pachami by appointing a Mine Developer cum Operator.
Referring to her discussion with the Union Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal in this regard, Ms. Banerjee said: “I have asked Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal to give it to us for smooth functioning.”
The mine would supply coal to power plants in Bengal and other States, she said while adding that “huge employment opportunities will be created and socio-economic infrastructure of the region will change radically, giving a boost to the economy and benefits to the people”.
“Despite Centre’s non-cooperation, we have been able to carry out a large number of development programmes in the State, which no other party could be able to perform.
“If any other party can do this in such a situation and financial difficulties, I shall quit my chair,” she added.
She further said that despite the Centre’s non-cooperation, the State government would continue with all development projects.
“I know how to take a challenge to continue with all development activities. I shall fight till the last,” Ms. Banerjee said, addressing a public meeting here in Birbhum district.
“If the Centre’s attitude continues for long despite repeated requests, we shall intensify a movement against this,” she cautioned.
Calling upon all political parties for cooperation, Ms. Banerjee said: “Let us work together. Without doing politics we can work together to expedite all development activities, bringing in a turnaround of Bengal’s future.”
Speaking about connectivity, Banerjee said a thrice-a-week flight would soon operate on Kolkata-Andal-Delhi sector, taking the advantage of new airport at Andal near Durgapur in Burdwan district.
Simultaneously, Bhutan Airlines has been asked to operate their Bangkok flight via Andal utilising this new infrastructure, she said.
Criticising the Centre for not heeding to her demand for special financial packages, Ms. Banerjee said that the social sector projects, in which the Centre has either stopped or drastically reduced funds and subsidies, should be resumed.
She regretted that not a single paisa was received from the Centre even though six months have passed since the floods struck Bengal, causing a loss of crops and property worth Rs. 6,000 crore.
Meanwhile, Ms. Banerjee inaugurated a bouquet of projects worth Rs. 100 crore and distributed several services to the beneficiaries under various schemes like Kanyashree, Yuvashree, Sikshashree, equipment to fishermen, Kisan and artisan credit cards, pattas and financial assistance for natural disasters, among others. - PTI
Deocha Pachami is the largest coal block in the country with 2,102 million tonnes of coal in reserve