Mahan Coal Limited is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) firm of Hindalco Industries (Aditya Birla Group) and Essar Power. Mahan Coal Limited (MCL) is going to extract coal from Mahan block of Singrauli fields in Madhya Pradesh. Coal produced by MCL will supply coal to the proposed power plants of both Essar and Hindalco. Essar Power is investing Rs 4,000 crore for a 1,000MW power project while Hindalco is setting up a 750-MW captive power plant with an estimated investment of Rs 2,400 crore. As per the lease agreement, Essar will use 60% of the coal output and Hindalco will take the remaining 40%. The mine, with proven reserves of 150m tonne of coal, will cater to the combined Rs 6,400 crore power projects being set up by the two conglomerates .
Companies, mostly thermal power plants, are in a rush to acquire land there by hook or by crook. Mahan Coalfields Limited, a joint venture of Essar and Hindalco, wanted 1,000 ha forestland that fell under the environment ministrys no-go zone. It applied for diversion. A group of ministers recently cleared the land for mining  Members of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (MSS), fighting against the operation of Mahan coal block. Officials of forest department and Mahan Coal Ltd had started numbering the trees in the forest before cutting for clearing the mining land. Villagers of the area gathered in the forest to stop tree numbering. Villagers also submitted a memorandum at a public hearing at the district collectors office saying the process a blatant violation of their rights [3, 4].