New Delhi: Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Monday said the ministry may review its decision of cancellation of coal blocks allocated to Ntpc, provided the reasons put forward by the power major for its failure to develop the blocks were “genuine”.
“We can review our decision if the reasons given by Ntpc for their inability to develop the coal blocks were found genuine,” Jaiswal said.
The development comes close on the heels of Power Ministry writing a letter to the Coal Ministry last week, asking for an urgent review of its decision of cancellation of coal blocks allocated to Ntpc.
In the letter the Power Ministry had also expressed concerns that Ntpc’s plans of adding over 15,000 MW generation capacity were likely to get hit due to de-allocation of the blocks.
The Power Ministry had said that at a crucial juncture when the state-run power major has already spent Rs 175 crore for developing three blocks alloted to it, Coal Ministry’s move of de-allocation would prove detrimental for the 12th Five-Year Plan’s (2012-17) capacity addition plans.
“Some of Ntpc’s projects of ... 15,060 MW coming up during 12th Plan are yet to be accorded coal linkages... Barh stage II and Tanda expansion power projects scheduled to come up during 2012-13 and 2015-16 are linked to Chhatti-Bariatu and Kerandari coal blocks,” the Power Ministry had said.
In May, the Coal Ministry had cancelled allocation of five coal blocks, including Chatti-Bariatu, Kerandari and Chatti-Bariatu (South), to Ntpc.
De-allocation of the blocks at a crucial stage means delays in Ntpc plans and lesser availability of coal during the beginning of the next Five-Year Plan, the Power Ministry had said.
Stating that “delays in achieving milestones towards implementation of the project was due to several factors beyond the control of Ntpc”, the Ministry had said delays in environment and forestry clearances had proved road blocks.
It takes about two-three years to achieve environmental and forestry clearances. The construction at the site can commence only after receiving green clearances from the Ministry of Environment and Forest, it had said.
It had added that Ntpc had made substantial progress in development of Chatti-Bariatu and Kerandari blocks.
To weed out non-serious players, the government, in 2010, issued notices to 84 coal and four lignite block allocattees for not developing the areas within stipulated time and sought explanation as to why blocks should not be cancelled.
In the beginning of May, the Coal Ministry de-allocated 15 coal and lignite blocks alloted to various firms.