New Delhi: Cracking a whip on power utilities and mining firms for not developing coal properties in time, the government has warned that it may soon take back at least 14 coal blocks if the allottees fail to initiate work on them within a month.
After reviewing the progress of the captive coal blocks allotted to the private and public sector companies between 2003 and 2007, the Coal Ministry has decided to serve de-allocation notices on 14 coal properties, official sources said.
“We are sending them (companies) notices, which could culminate into de-allocation if required,” Minister of State for Coal Santosh Bagrodia told PTI.
Among the firms to be issued show-cause notices, which could result in de-allocation, include Tata Sponge, NCT Delhi, Monnet Ispat, Adhunik Group, electricity boards of Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand, power corporations of Maharashtra and Haryana, and mineral development corporations of Chhattisgarh, Assam and Meghalaya.
“The companies have been issued several reminders to ensure timely exploration of the coal blocks, but as they have failed to do so, the government is planning to take them back,” a top official in the Coal Ministry said.
While Monnet Ispat was allotted a 106-million-tonne Utkal coal block in Chhattisgarh, Adhunik Group and Electrosteel were jointly given a 923-million-tonne Dahdhu block in Jharkhand.
Similarly, Haryana Power Corporation and NCT Delhi were allotted a joint block with cumulative reserve of 477 million tonnes while Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation was given Tara block with a reserve of 500 million tonnes.