Mahanadi Coalfield Ltd’s (MCL) wait for forest clearance for Ananta OC expansion (Phase III) project in Odisha is getting longer and longer. The proposal for stage-I clearance for 237.853 ha forest land was submitted to CCF (Nodal) three years ago and still there are no signs of getting clearance in the near future.
MCL had waited sufficiently longer period for Gram Sabhas of 11 villages to give their nod for the project. After getting their approval now the forest clearance proposal is lying pending at the level of collector Angul for No Objection Certificate (NOC). According to sources in MCL, approval may not come before March 2014.
Ananta OCP spread over 691 hs is an operating mine since 1991 with approved capacity of 12 MTPA coal production. However, total reserve available within the existing project boundary is almost exhausted and MCL is desperately in need of forest clearance for the expansion project to avoid discontinuity. The capital cost of project is estimated to be Rs. 207.28 crore.