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Bengal finally gets allotment of Birbhum coal mine

Kolkata: The second largest coal mine in the world, Deocha Pachami Harinsingha Dewanganj coal mines in Birbhum district has been allocated to Bengal after a long wait of three years.

On Friday morning, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: "I am very happy to share with all of you that after a long wait of 3 years, #Bengal has got the allocation of the Deocha Pachami Harinsingha Dewanganj Coal Mines in Birbhum district."

Stressing upon the possibility of employment generation with the development of the coal mines, Banerjee further stated in her tweet: "With an estimated reserve of 2102 million tonnes, it is the 2nd largest coal mine in the world. The mining project has a huge potential of generating nearly a lakh of direct and indirect employment opportunities in #Birbhum and neighbouring districts."

The allocation of the country's largest coal mine to Bengal will not only ensure a massive development in Birbhum and its adjoining areas but would bring about a considerable change in various sectors, mainly power, in the state. The Bengal government is taking necessary steps to ensure initiation of work as early as possible and a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Bengal Birbhum Coalfields Limited (BBCL), was formed to develop the block.

In her tweet, Banerjee has stated: "It will also involve investments worth Rs 12000 crores in the intermediate run. Altogether, there will be a huge socio-economic development of Birbhum, the neighbouring districts and the entire state. My best wishes to all."

It may be recalled that almost three years ago, the Centre had finalised to allocate 17 blocks of estimated coal reserve of 8,500 million tonnes including Deocha Pachami Harinsingha Dewanganj coal mines. The coal blocks in Birbhum were offered to Bengal and other states including Punjab, Bihar, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. However, apart from Bengal none showed interest and subsequently, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her intention to operate it solely. An inter-ministerial committee had examined the proposal and finally, the Centre has agreed to allocate the coal blocks to Bengal.

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