Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has sought Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s intervention to speed up clearances for coal production from blocks alloted to its power projects in another Congress-ruled state, Chhattisgarh.
In a letter to Sonia Gandhi, Ashok Gehlot said that despite repeated requests to the Chhattisgarh government, state Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has not given clearance for mining in coal blocks alloted to the Rajasthan government.
In the letter, Gehlot said that 4340 MW of power generation may come to a standstill due to non-clearance of mining permits in the Parsa coal mine allotted to Rajasthan in Chhattisgarh.
Rajasthan has been allotted coal mines of 1,136 hectares in Parsa East, Kante Extension and Surguja by the Centre. But due to the implementation of phase-2 of environmental clearance, permission has to be taken from the state panchayats and for this, the state government (Chhattisgarh in this case) has to take initiative.
Gehlot said that despite continuously writing letters to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, the latter was not taking any action.
Due to non-availability of coal, the Rajasthan government was forced to increase the price of electricity to 33 paise per unit in the state, making it one of the most expensive electricity seller in the country.
On the other hand, the Chhattisgarh government is reportedly unable to give environmental clearance for the mines due to opposition from the local people.
On writing a letter to Sonia Gandhi, BJP state president Satish Poonia attacked Ashok Gehlot. He said that in a Congress rally, Sonia Gandhi and Bhupesh Baghel were sitting with Ashok Gehlot, then why did they not discuss the issue then.