A PSPCL official who visited the coal mines of PANEM said that as per a survey done, coal crest up to 7 meters comprises of C grade, from 7 to 20 meters D grade, from 20 to 28 meters E grade and below 28 meters it is F grade coal. This works out that coal supplied to Ropar thermal plant should comprise of 20 % C grade, 30% D grade, 40% E grade and balance 10% F grade.
PANEM also supplies coal for thermal plants at Lehra Mohabatt and Bhatinda. A senior Lehra Mohabatt official said that they have been able to break the nexus to some extent in the last six months. Now, engineers have been associated with testing and payment is being made on the basis of actual grading which is lower in number of cases.
It may be mentioned that erstwhile PSEB formed a Joint Venture Company, PANEM Coal Mines Limited, with Eastern Minerals and Trading Agency (EMTA) to produce, supply, transport and deliver coal from the coalmines of Pachwara Central Block, exclusively to PSEB thermal power stations. Pachwara Central Block was allotted to the PSEB for captive mining for supply of coal on an exclusive basis to its own power plants by Ministry of Coal and Mines on December 26, 2001.
According to sources, at Ropar thermal plant, the coal testing is being done by 2 laboratory assistants under the direct supervision of Chief Chemist Coal. The posts of all the 3 shift chemists have been deliberately kept vacant. The sampling, crushing and grinding of coal samples is being done before office hours by PANEM employee who earlier worked as labor in the office of chief chemist coal.
What is happening in case of PANEM is also true in case of Coal India. The total coal rakes supplied including those of PANEM are 1789 in 2010-11, 1609 in 2011-12 and 573 in current financial year.
A senior official who was earlier dealing with the coal said that to prevent the fraud being committed by officials and to break the unholy nexus, the complete staff dealing with coal testing should be interchanged every year with the staff of chief chemist water. Another official who tried to be strict in this matter was transferred from the circle.
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