New Delhi: The government has constituted a three-member panel headed by Planning Commission member B K Chaturvedi to look into proposed relocation of NTPC's 1,980-MW North Karanpura plant in Jharkhand.

The development comes after a Group of Ministers (GoM) on Coal headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in its meeting last month, decided to refer the North Karanpura power project issue to the B K Chaturvedi Committee.

"The B K Chaturvedi panel was formed by the Planning Commission on Wednesday," sources said.

The three-member panel, which includes Coal Secretary Alok Perti and Power Secretary P Uma Shankar, will submit its report within a month from the day of its formation, sources added.

The issue of relocating the proposed power plant of NTPC has been a major bone of contention between the ministries of coal and power, as the plant is planned in an area that holds six billion tonnes of coal reserves.

While the Coal Ministry has been arguing in favour of relocating the proposed plant, the Power Ministry has been opposing the move, following which the matter was referred to the ministerial panel earlier this year.

The Rs 8,000 crore NTPC project has been hanging fire for almost a decade due to a controversy over its location. The North Karanpura project, situated in Chatra district of Jharkhand, was supposed to be implemented during the current Five-Year Plan.

In February, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had approved the formation of a GoM to sort out environmental issues hurting coal production.

The GoM includes Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, among others.

Till now the GoM has met several times, but no consensus could be reached on the issue.

(Agencies)