BHUBANESWAR, SEPT 09, 2022
With 70 per cent of the total coal produced in Odisha supplied to power plants based in other states and the continuing coal shortage threatening the survival of local industries, the Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd. (UCCI) has sought intervention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to save thousands of SMEs in the state.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, UCCI President Brahma Mishra said: “The coal supply scenario to the non-power sector has deteriorated steeply. Further, the continued coal shortage due to stoppage/curtailment of supplies has threatened the survival of the local industries leading towards catastrophic conditions with risk of closure of thousands of SMEs in the state.”
The Odisha-based local industries are facing coal deficit and are forced to import coal as they are getting less than 30 per cent of the coal produced in Odisha, he cited.
Mishra further said that despite maintaining a healthy production level Coal India Limited (CIL) subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) has been ignoring Captive Power Plants (CPP) based industries in Odisha, and as a result of which industries like Aluminium, Cement, Steel, Sponge Iron, Paper, Fertilizer, Chemical, Textile etc. are severely impacted due to prolonged supply crunch.
“Since August 2021, the non-regulated sub-sectors including CPPs are struggling to get uninterrupted coal supplies with just 40-50 per cent of required coal supplies allocated. This has brought the industry to a standstill and made a major dent on Odisha’s image of being a coal-surplus state,” Mishra cited in his letter.
“Also, the acute coal shortage in the state is jeopardizing the manufacturing sector and further hurting the sentiments of global investors,” he said.
The non-power industries in Odisha are not getting any coal rake now whereas they require 15-20 rakes of coal per day. “The local industries cannot survive in this prevailing situation without the Government’s support in normalizing coal supply,” Mishra wrote in his letter, while urging the Chief Minister to instruct Ministry of Coal and Coal India Limited to normalize coal rake supplies from MCL to meet the requirement of CPP based industry in Odisha. The total demand of local industries should be met first through State’s own coal production before supplying to other states, the UCCI chief suggested.