ministry on Thursday announced that it has decided to cancel the allotment of 14 coal blocks and one lignite block to six public sector firms, including power major NTPC and three private firms for failing to carry out mining activities to produce coal.
"The ministry of coal has decided to deallocate 14 coal blocks and one lignite captive coal block for slow implementation/non-implementation of mining projects," an official statement said. The decision follows recommendations by a committee of the coal ministry, which reviewed the progress made by steel, power, cement and other firms in developing 88 coal and lignite (soft dark-brown coal) blocks allotted for captive use.
The committee had also recommended deduction of bank guarantees in the case of 15 private firms for failing to achieve commencement of production as per allotment norms. Besides it had recommended issuing warnings to firms in the case of 29 coal blocks and three lignite blocks for bringing their blocks into production at the earliest, the statement said.
The ministry has cancelled the allocation of five blocks, including Chatti Bariatu, Chatti Bariatu (S), Kerandari, Brahmani and Chichiro Patsimal that were awarded to NTPC.
Reacting to the development, an NTPC official said the company was making sincere efforts to develop the mines and under the circumstances the ministry should ensure coal allotment to it for power generation. The ministry also decided to cancel allotment of blocks to Damodar Valley Corporation, Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation, Tenughat Vidyut Nigam, Bihar State Mineral Development Corporation and Jharkhand State Electricity Board.