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Companies without green nod to lose coal blocks, 61 get notice

PTI     January 16, 2014
The government has decided to deallocate all the captive coal blocks which have not obtained environment and in-principle forest clearances and has issued show-cause notice to allocatees of 61 such mines.

Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal, Hindalco, Jindal Steel and Power, JSW Steel, Essar Power, Adani Power, Tata Power, GVK Power and Infrastructure, Ultratech Cement, Reliance Energy, Sterlite Energy and JP Associates are some of the allocatees who feature in the list of 61.

Some blocks, which are already under the scrutiny of CBI such as Mahan to Essar Power and Hindalco, Brinda Sasai and Meral to Abhijeet Infrastructure, Bander to AMR Iron and Steel, also figure in the list.

Fatehpur coal block, allocated to SKS Ispat & Power Ltd, the company allegedly linked to former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, is also a part of the list.

"The following coal blocks will be deallocated ... Coal blocks where environmental clearance and forest clearance stage-I (in-principle) have not been obtained," SK Shahi, Director in the Coal Ministry, said in a letter to allocatees of 61 blocks.

Coal blocks, which are unexplored or partially explored at the time of allocation and where prospecting licence (PL) has not been obtained, will also be cancelled, it said.

The move comes in the backdrop of the Supreme Court posing some tough questions on allocation process for coal blocks and questioning the Centre over the functioning of the screening committee that made allotment recommendations.

The letter further added that in cases of coal blocks where PL has been issued but geological reports have not been prepared will also be cancelled.

The allocatees have been given time till February 5 to obtain the requisite clearances and produce proofs in support of approvals.

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