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Govt gives back six deallocated coal blocks

The government has given back six coal blocks of the deallocated 14 mines to firms, including Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited (TVNL) and NTPC.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: January 6, 2012  | 00:00 IST

The government has given back six coal blocks of the deallocated 14 mines to firms, including Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited (TVNL) and NTPC.

"We have given back six coal blocks, including one of DVC, one jointly allocated to TVNL and DVC, one to Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) and three to NTPC," a top official of Coal Ministry said.

All the blocks have been given back on the condition that they would be developed within two years otherwise they would be taken back by the coal ministry, the official added.

The government had last year cancelled the allotment of 14 coal blocks and one lignite block to six public sector and three private firms for their failure to develop them within the stipulated time frame.

A committee, chaired by Additional Secretary (Ministry of Coal) Zohra Chatterji, is looking into the issue of development of coal blocks which were allocated to firms for captive use.

Five coal blocks of NTPC which were taken back by the coal ministry, includes Chatti Bariatu, Chatti Bariatu (S), Kerandari, Brahmani and Chichiro Patsimal.

Last year, Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde wrote a letter to Jaiswal, seeking a review of the decision to de-allocate blocks to NTPC.

The Banhardih mine in Jharkhand, which was allocated to JSEB in 2006, was also taken back as implementation of all milestones under the project was pending.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda had last year met the Coal Minister, seeking the reversal of the ministry's decision to cancel allotment of a coal block to a state-run power utility.

In 2011, TVNL and DVC had also asked the government to reconsider its decision to deallocate the Gondulpara coal block jointly allocated to them in Jharkhand as the mine falls in a "no-go" zone.

The coal mine was allocated in 2006 to TVNL as a leader and DVC as an associate to meet the coal requirement for their joint venture power project.

To weed out non-serious players, the government had in 2010 issued notices to 84 coal and four lignite block allottees for not developing the same within stipulated time and sought explanation as to why blocks should not be cancelled.

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