Gehlot writes to Sonia as coal crisis deepens in Rajasthan

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Jaipur, Dec 21 (IANS) In the wake of shortage of coal in the state, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has written a letter to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi enumerating the political losses being reported due to delay in the approval of the coal mines by the Chhattisgarh government.

The letter states that there will be a coal crisis in Rajasthan-based power plants by the end of December. If the coal mines are not approved, the state will have to buy coal at expensive prices which shall increase the cost and burden on the consumer.

Official sources confirmed that the dispute between the Congress-ruled states has widened because the Baghel government is not giving permission for passing coal mine benefits even after getting approval from the Centre for Parsa East and another coal block of Chhattisgarh coal mines allotment to Rajasthan.

Gehlot has hence sought intervention of Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi in the matter.

Earlier, in November, Gehlot had appealed Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel for early approval of coal mines. Even after a month of writing the letter, no action was taken, so now the matter has been taken to Sonia Gandhi.

As per the sources, the Rajasthan government has been allotted mines in the second block of Parsa and in second block of coal mines in Chhattisgarh.

The central government has given environment clearance for this, but the forest department of the Chhattisgarh government has not yet given approval.

Officials said that coal mines area fall under forest area where local tribes are protesting against the mining process and hence Baghel is keeping mum on the issue as it may lead to local protests.

–IANS
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