Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly of Small and Medium Enterprises (OASME) has sought intervention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for adequate supply of coal to local captive power plant (CPP)-based industries.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, OASME Secretary General Satwik Swain said, “Despite the untiring efforts of the government to support the industry, the continuing coal shortage due to stoppage/curtailment of coal supplies and rakes has threatened the very survival of local industries with the risk of loss of lakhs of livelihood and closure of thousands of MSMEs in the State.”
Swain highlighted that the CPP-based industries in Odisha which are heavily dependent on coal as their primary raw material are unable to run smoothly due to the current situation.
Since August 2021, the CPPs are getting just 40-50 per cent of the required coal supplies, creating a backlog of over 1,500 coal rakes, since most of the available coal rakes are being diverted away from CPPs, he said.
“This struggle to receive uninterrupted coal supplies for continued operations has brought down the industry to a standstill and left with no time to devise any mitigation plan to continue sustainable operations,” Swain wrote.
Due to the aforesaid reason, the association said the operational power plants are forced to operate at reduced power generation levels, creating a huge risk of closure of the plant.
Highlighting the natural advantages enjoyed by the state, Swain said Odisha holds 25 per cent of the total coal deposit of the country.
Out of the 150 million tonnes of coal produced through Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), 65 per cent is being transferred to other States and only 35 per cent is reserved for Odisha industries, against the actual minimum requirement of 55 per cent for local CPPs.
The OASME urged the Chief Minister to take prompt action for immediate resumption of coal and rake supplies from MCL to meet the requirement of the local captive power plant based industries.
Such acute shortage is creating a dangerous situation for the manufacturing sector, threatening the shutdown of MSMEs, leaving the State deprived of domestic value addition and a bad impact on global investment, he added.