3 investment proposals shifted to non-coal bearing zones.

Our Bureau

Kolkata, April 9 Faced with objections from Coal India Ltd on blocking of underground coal reserves, the State Government decided minor relocation and adjustment of the proposed $2.5-billion Durgapur Aerotropolis project. The State has also decided to shift to three investment proposals from Videocon Group, Bhushan Steel and Avijit Group from previously identified locations to non-coal bearing zones.

An in-principle decision was taken on the part of the State Government to consult Coal India Ltd before allotting land for all future industrial investment proposals in the coal-bearing zone of the State.

“Based on inputs from Coal India, we have finalised the location of the proposed Durgapur Aerotropolis project so as to ensure flow of investment as well as future growth coal mining activity in the State. We have also decided to identify alternate land for three investment proposals in the Durgapur-Asansol area to unlock mineable coal reserves,” the Principal Secretary, Mr Sabysachi Sen, told news persons after a meeting between the top officials of CIL and the State here.

While Mr Sen refused to divulge further details on either the relocation of the Aerotropolis project or the other investment proposals, the CIL Chairman, Mr Partha S. Bhattacharyya, later told media persons that according to the revised proposals the State has agreed to free 400 acres of coal-bearing land from the originally identified project location of the Aerotropolis.

This will be done by shifting a golf course from the Western side of the project to the Eastern side. Promoted by Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd (BAPL), the State previously identified 3,500 acres of land for the airport city.

According to Mr Bhattacharyya, post the relocation of airport city, CIL would have to sacrifice 0.71 sq km of coal-bearing land under its leasehold, down from 2.63 sq km according to the previous project location. The relocation would also free land having extractable coal reserve beyond the CIL leasehold area.

“Overall post-relocation, 14 million tonnes of mineable coal reserve would be sacrificed for the project. However, the State Government’s proposal to find alternate land for investment proposals from Bhusan Steel, Videocon and Avijit Group would free a far higher quantity of mineable coal reserve,” the CIL Chairman said.

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Coal India suggests minor relocation of Durgapur Aerotropolis project
Bengal signs pact for airport city

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 10, 2009)
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