Bihar gets coal block for thermal power projects

Patna, July 5 (IANS) The central government has allocated a separate coal block for three upcoming thermal power projects in electricity starved Bihar, a state minister said here Friday.

"It is a big relief for Bihar. The coal block has been allocated for three thermal power projects in the state after a long wait," Energy Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav told IANS.

The minister added that the centre has allocated a coal block in West Bengal for the upcoming projects at Pirpainti in Bhagalpur district, Kajra in Lakhisarai and Chausa in Buxar.

Earlier this year, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had sought the intervention of Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia for the allocation of coal linkages for these projects.

"Bihar badly needed more power for development," Yadav said, adding that the state government would now aim to complete the projects soon.

Officials of energy department said that each upcoming thermal power project has the capacity to produce 1,320 MW electricity.

"The coal block allocation would boost the state's power generation capacity by 3,960 MW," said an official who did not wish to be named.

While Bihar's daily power requirement is nearly 3,000 MW, the state produces merely 100 MW, a Bihar State Electricity Board official said.

The central government supplies less than 1,800 MW power to the state. Thus, Bihar is facing a deficit of over 1,100 MW, the official added.

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