CoalMin pulls up Damodar Valley, 8 others for idling on blocks

CoalMin pulls up Damodar Valley, 8 others for idling on blocks

New Delhi: Continuing the crackdown against firms sitting idle on coal blocks, the government on Tuesday said it has sought an explanation from Damodar Valley Corporation and eight others for their failure to meet development commitments.

In the notices issued on 28 and 29 October, the coal ministry said the nine firms did not make efforts to develop coal blocks allocated to them even after repeated warnings from the government.

It asked the companies to reply to the notices within 30 days, failing which action would be taken to strip them of mining rights.

“It is seen that the company has repeatedly failed to keep its promises...... and is thus non-serious about timely development of the block," the ministry said.

Damodar Valley was issued a notice for the delay in developing the Saharpur Jamarpani coal block in Jharkhand, which was awarded in 2007.

Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp, Jharkhand State Electricity Board, Gujarat Mineral Development Corp, Bihar State Mineral Development Corp are among the other companies that were issued similar notices for the delay in development of blocks allocated to them.

The other companies were Assam Mineral Development Corporation, Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, Orissa Mining Corporation Ltd.

The development comes close on the heels of the government announcing that it is in the process of issuing show-cause notices to firms that are sitting idle on coal blocks, thereby violating the terms and conditions for development of the reserves.

In July, the ministry had convened a review meeting with the concerned companies, which have been allocated a total of 207 coal blocks for captive use by power, cement and steel projects.