State-owned NLC India Limited said on Sunday it is planning to invest more than Rs 17,000 crore for its thermal power projects and has embarked upon afforestation programme inside and outside the coal mining area in Odisha.
The Navratna company will produce 20 million tonne of coal per annum from Talabira II and III coal blocks to fuel its 4,200 MW of thermal power projects, an official of the company said.
The company is working closely with the Odisha forest department to make it a model mine by planting more trees than the mandated, under relevant policies, an NLC India official said.
The public sector undertaking has already deposited Rs 134.36 crore to Odisha Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) account.
CAMPA fund is for compensatory afforestation and its maintenance for 10 years, catchment area treatment plan, wildlife management plans and gap plantation.
"Our drive to plant and protect 25,86,700 trees inside and outside the mining lease area of Talabira II & III is higher than what is prescribed by the relevant regulations for protecting and nurturing the environment," an NLC statement said.
"Local plants such as sirisa, barakoli, ambada, mango, jackfruits and bamboo will be cultivated to develop vibrancy in the ecology," the statement said.
The per capita electricity consumption in India is estimated at around 1100 units a year, which is much lower than the comparable nations, the statement said.
NLC India's integrated project with huge green cover will ensure uninterrupted electricity to lakhs of households and commercial establishments through NLC's 3,200 MW Talabira Thermal Power Project in Odisha and NLC Tamil Nadu Power Limited's 1,000 MW project in Tuticorin district, it added.
This will attract thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities and the recruitments are already on, the official said.
NLC India will undertake compensatory afforestation.
It will plant 13,27,702 saplings across 2089 hectare land in Sambalpur, Sonepur and Bolangir districts.
It will also plant nearly 12,41,000 trees inside the mining lease area. Besides, 18,400 saplings will be planted in the safety zone area and the outer periphery of the mine.
Recently, NLC India had announced compensation for the project affected families with higher land prices, pakka houses in townships with supporting modern infrastructure besides monthly disbursements instead of employment for the youth to enable them to pursue vocations/professions of their choices.
The company also promised to support local communities through institutional support for capacity building.
As a gesture of gratitude towards the iconic freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai, it will develop his birthplace as a tourist destination at Khinda involving Odisha Tourism Department, Sambalpur, he said.