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House panel asks Govt to strengthen Coal Controller

Expressing concern over manpower crunch and poor functioning of the Coal Controllers Organisation (CCO), entrusted with the task of monitoring captive mines, a parliamentary panel has asked the government to take immediate steps to strengthen it.

'The Committee is dismayed to note that the enormous work such as permission for opening and reopening of coal mines... has been entrusted to CCO...yet there is only one technical officer posted in the organisation and he is holding the post of coal controller,' Parliamentary Standing Committee on Coal and Steel has said in its latest report.

Expressing concern, the Panel, which is headed by Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee, said, 'The Committee fail to understand as to how without having adequate manpower, the organisation can carry out inspection for ascertaining quality in selected mines.

It said: 'The Committee strongly recommend the government to take immediate steps to strengthen the office of CCO to ensure that besides the various statutory functions, the organisation could efficiently monitor the progress of work in allocated captive coal blocks.'

The CCO, which has field offices at coalfield areas like Dhanbad, Ranchi, Bilaspur, Nagpur and Kothagudem, to be headed by a GM/DGM level executive working in the capacity of Officer on Special Duty being supported by other technical officers, has unfortunately only one technical officer, it said.

The CCO, apart from giving permission for opening and reopening of coal mines has huge work like disposal of cases under Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957, collection of excise duty, inspection of coal samples, collection, compilation of coal statistics and monitoring and progress of coal blocks.

'It will be difficult to undertake regular inspections to ensure compliance with specific orders relating to coal quality and resolving statutory complaints,' the Committee said.

It added that despite Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad after reviewing the functioning of the CCO recommended strengthening of the organisation, the Coal Ministry failed to
take any step.


GMR’S 350-MW KAMALANGA PLANT NOW COMMERCIALLY OPERATIONAL


The first 350 mw unit of GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited (GKEL) in Odisha's Dhenkanal district was declared commercially operational on Wednesday.

GMR Group is establishing a 4x350 mw coal-based thermal power plant at Kamalanga in the state in two phases of 3x350 mw and 1x350 mw, a company release said.

GKELs first unit is GMR Group's second coal-based power plant to be declared commercially operational.

In March 2013, commercial generation commenced from the first 300 mw unit of GMR EMCO Energy Limiteds 2x300 mw power plant at Warora in Maharashtra, it said.

Power produced from GKELs first unit has been offered to GRIDCO Limited in Odisha, as per the long-term power purchase agreement executed with it pursuant to the MoU with the state government.

Work on commissioning two other units of 350 mw in the first phase is in an advanced stage and likely to be completed by August 2013. When fully commissioned, the GKEL power plant would serve the people of Odisha, Bihar, Haryana and other parts of the country.

Commenting on the development, G.M Rao, Group Chairman of GMR said, 'The commencement of commercial generation from the first 350 mw unit of our 1400 mw coal-based project at Kamalanga signals a new phase of expansion of GMR Groups power generation capacity.

'This is yet another example of our commitment to on-time delivery of projects, which will now generate revenue and enhance our shareholder value.'

GMR Infrastructure Limited is a Bangalore headquartered global infrastructure major with interests in airports, energy, highways and urban infrastructure sectors.
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