Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) joined hands to add another 700-mw power capacity to the Rajpura Power Plant under the MOU route. The present capacity of the Rajpura plant is 2100 MW (3x700mw). Earlier, two units of 700 MW each were awarded under the competitive bidding system.Chief Minister has mentioned in his letter that the Rajpura Thermal Project deserves a higher priority for coal linkage as the option of using imported coal, coal from e-auction sources or commercially mined coal is not available due to the large distance from coal fields as well as ports. Moreover, L&T has a reputation of timely execution of projects.It may be mentioned that Central Electricity Authority has not recommended the project for early clearance of coal linkage as the company has not passed the bench mark specified by the authority.Badal has stated in his letter that early recommendation for grant of coal linkage will facilitate construction activities, thereby, resulting in early commissioning. L&T has already submitted its application for the grant of 4 million tons per annum of F-grade coal linkage in July last year. Earlier in March, Punjab government had requested Ministry of Coal for allocation of coal blocks in Jharkhand to the PSPCL, for three of its upcoming thermal projects, namely the 2540 MW Gidderbaha Thermal Project being executed by NTPC, 500 MW GNDTP Ext-II and 500 MW GHTP Stage-Ill. The coal blocks in question are the Pachwara (South), Babupara–North Kanakpura and Rautpara–North Karanpura, all located in Jharkhand. PSPCL has already coal blocks in Pachwara (central), which is near to coal blocks being sought by PSPCL.The Punjab government maintains that the allocation of coal blocks will help in mitigating the power shortages in coming years. The new power projects, once realized, will add to the economic growth of not only Punjab, but also the country. To fuel its ambitious capacity addition, PSPCL will require mineable reserves of 1200 to 1500 million tons. The thermal projects now under execution are 4 units of 660 MW each at MW Talwandi Sabo Thermal Project, 3 units of 700 MW each at Rajpura Thermal Project and 4 units of 660 MW each at Gidderbaha Thermal Project. Moreover, extensions to existing projects at Bhatinda and Lehra Mohabbat are also been planned by PSPCL. Punjab State Power Corporation has requested the coal ministry for allocation of a suitable coal block under the government dispensation route with minimum 500 million tones extractable quantity of good quality coal with ash contents less than 34 per cent preferably open cast mine of grade D/E & as per CEA norms.