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NTPC boss soothes Pankri nerves

Hazaribagh, May 7: CMD of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Arup Roy Choudhary today promised proper rehabilitation and compensation packages for those who had given up land for a captive coal mining project at Pankri Barwadih, around 20km from the district headquarters.

He said the Maharatna PSU would set up an industrial training institute and a power training institute in the district for the welfare of local residents, besides ensuring jobs to local youths within the project.

Choudhary, who visited Pankri today to review progress of work, also sought villagers’ co-operation for speedy commencement of coal exploration, already delayed by over six years.

The power utilities company is now planning to start mining here by the end of this year.

Pankri mines, with a capacity of 1.5 MTPA, will feed NTPC plants at Nabinagar in Aurangabad, Bihar, and the 1980MW Super Thermal Power Plant in North Karnpura, Chatra.

Sources said NTPC required 7,800 acre, including 4,100 acre rayati land and 1,200 acre gair-mazruwa land, for the project that was launched in 2004.

However, the public sector unit had been able to acquire only 3,150 acres so far owing to local residents’ reluctance to part with land, said an NTPC official.

To pacify disgruntled villagers, Roy assured them that the company would follow proper guidelines laid down by the state administration to compensate and rehabilitate displaced people.

“This project will pave the way for development of entire Hazaribagh,” said Choudhary, underlining the company’s efforts to ensure inclusive growth of the area.

An agreement, he claimed, had already been signed with a company to construct houses for the displaced.

Roy handed over a cheque of Rs 6.81 lakh to Saryu Sao who was the first to part with land for the coal mining project.

A team of senior NTPC officials, including director, human resources, U.P. Pani, director, operations, N.N Mishra, accompanied the NTPC CMD on his visit to Pankri.