A proposed airport city project in the West Bengal area of India will be reworked after a study found that the construction would block around 1.4 billion tons of prime coal reserves.

A study done by the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) had revealed that about 1.4 billion tons of coal reserves, of which 350 million tons are licensed to Coal India Ltd (CIL), would be blocked if the project where to go ahead.

At the meeting, chaired by the state chief secretary, it was decided that of the 3,500 acres required for the project, 2,300 acres were required for the airport and around 500 acres would have to be taken out of the project area, in order to protect existing coal reserves of ECL.

The commissioning of the CMPDI study came after CIL received the detailed map of the airport project which is proposed to be implemented as a private project assisted by the State’s apex industry promotion agency.

The reworked project will also have to take into account the Sharpi ‘longwall mining’ project of ECL which is being developed by a UK-based company on a contract-basis.

CIL officials will now study this new plan and a meeting has been scheduled later this month.

By Daniel Garrun.