Millennium Post

Work in Deocha Pachami to begin in 5 yrs: Mamata

Kolkata: After getting a formal sanction from the Centre on Wednesday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that the world's second-largest coal block in Birbhum Deocha Pachami would be made operational within five years and as many as 5 lakh people will be given employment in the project.

Banerjee constituted a high-power committee with the Chief Secretary at the helm to chalk out an elaborate action plan and ensure that the construction work begins soon. The development takes place after the Centre issued the clearance to the state government giving a go-ahead. The Bengal government is expected to start mining at Deocha Pachami in five years.

"The Centre has cleared the project after a long delay of three years. The state government will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre next week in this regard. It is a big project and it will be completed in five years. Around 5 lakh people will get employment. The entire project would cost around Rs 12,000 crore," Banerjee said at Nabanna.

The Chief Minister also added that there will be no crisis of coal in the state in the next 100 years after Deocha Pachami is made operational. It has around 2,102 million metric tonne coal reserve. It will also provide coal to the rest of the country.

"The entire coal reserve is spread over 11,222.05 acre of land out of which 9,000 acre is 'ryoti' land and 2,000 acre vested land. There is also a forest area covering around 5 per cent of the total project area where around 4,000 people have been living. The project would begin after the villagers are rehabilitated. The high-power committee will take care of these issues," Banerjee maintained.

The committee comprises senior officials from various departments including the Power, Environment, Forest and Disaster Management. The Bengal government has to provide Rs 50 crore to the Centre as a security deposit for the project. Continued on P7

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