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Coal block in Bengal to be operational in 66 months

Kolkata: State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay on Tuesday, held a meeting with a nine-member delegation from Poland having their expertise on coal excavation.

He had a detailed discussion on various issues relating to the excavation in Birbhum's Deocha Pachami, the second largest coal block in Asia. After holding the meeting the minister told the reporters at the Assembly's press corner that the state government has a target of making the coal block operational within 66 months.

He said, "Three countries including Poland have the expertise to extract coal from a distance of one mile from Earth's surface. We will float tenders for the bidders on the basis of which the agency will be chosen."

Earlier the state Power department had signed a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MoU) with the Poland government at the Bengal Global Business Summit held in January this year to build cooperation on issues like clean coal technology, coal mining, technology transfer. Poland has also proposed to offer scholarships to the youth from Bengal who want to gain knowledge of mining engineering in their country.

Poland has shown immense interest to provide technical knowhow to Bengal government in extraction of clean coal. "They are known for their technological expertise in the mining and power sectors. We are planning to use this technology to extract clean coal which may eventually be used for generating power. If we find that their technology is cost-effective, we are ready to embrace the same," he said.

The state government has a plan to invest Rs 12,000 crore to develop the block, which would create one lakh jobs and usher in rapid economic development in the area. The block is expected to produce coal worth Rs 2.10 lakh crore and attract total investments worth Rs 22,000 crore.

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