With India being a country of chronic power deficits, the Government of India has planned to provide power for all by the end of the 11^ Five-Year Plan (2007–2012) and to further increase power generation in the 12^ Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) are a series of ambitious power projects planned by the Government of India, which entail the creation of an additional capacity of at least 100,000 MW by 2012.
The Government of India has allocated Kerandari ‘BC’ coal block in North Karanpura coal fields the state of Jharkhand to Jharkhand Integrated Power Company Limited (JIPCL, subsidiary of Reliance Power Limited ), which is developing the Tilaiya Ultra Mega Power Project. Jharkhand Integrated Power Limited was transferred to the company in the year 2009; subsequent to the transfer, the company along with the strategic partner North American Coal Corporation Limited developed a detailed mine plan for the Tilaiya coal mines. North American Coal Corporation Limited, the strategic partner for developing and operating coal mines, is an American coal mining and mining services company and ranks as America’s largest lignite coal producer. On commencement of production, the company will be the largest coal mining company in the private sector in the country.
The allocation for the Tilaiya Ultra Mega Power Project was made in the year 2007 . Reliance Power aims to mine 40 million tonnes of coal per year from the Kerendari coal blocks, spread over 4,500 hectares, for its JIPCLs plant, while the aggregate coal reserves of these mines are around 1.2 billion tonnes. The Tilaiya coal mines are approximately 100 kms from the Tilaiya power plant.
The mining project will uproot more than 8,500 households from Kerendari .
In 2011, The CDM Executive Board of UNFCCC has granted CDM credits to the project. The CDM Executive Board once again ignored criticism of the environmental integrity of coal projects by approving yet another supercritical coal project. Over the next 10 years the plant will receive 21 million CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) credits while emitting 240 million tons of CO2.
On May 2012, some 20 villages in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand called a maha-panchayat and resolved not to let Reliance Power mine coal from Kerendari B and C blocks for its 4,000 MW power plant being set up at Barhi village. The maha-panchayat was convened a week after the police lathi-charged people who would be affected by the mining project and arrested 200 of them during a public hearing. The residents were peacefully protesting against the hearing organised in Hazaribagh town, 44 km from Kerendari village which will be fully displaced by the project. The coal mine will not only displace an entire village, it will also affect the fertile agricultural land in the nearby villages. But neither the company nor the authorities are willing to hear the residents’ plea