Coal Ministry cancels three NTPC blocks

Coal Ministry cancels three NTPC blocks

New Delhi: Close on the heels of Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal stating that he may review the decision of cancelling coal blocks allocated to NTPC, the government has deallocated five blocks, including three of the power major, due to failure of firms to develop them.

The three coal blocks of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) which are cancelled include Chhati Bariatu (South), Chatti Bariatu in Jharkhand and Kerandari in Jharkhand.

“...the Ministry of Coal is of the view that allocatee company is not serious about development of the coal block(s) and has, therefore, decided to deallocate.....coal block(s), allocated to NTPC," letter addressed to the chairman and managing director of NTPC said.

Chatti Bariatu and Kerandari coal blocks in North Karanpura coalfields in Jharkhand were allocated to the public sector firm in 2006 for captive use in their own specified end use projects. While Chatti Bariatu (South) coal block was given to public sector firm in 2007.

NTPC, however, could not be reached out for comments.

The other two blocks which were cancelled includes Saharpur Jamarpani coal block in Jharkhand allocated to Damodar Valley Corporation in 2007 and Banhardih coal block given to Jharkhand State Electricity Board in 2006.

Earlier, Jaiswal had said that his 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.

Minister’s reaction soon came after the Power Ministry wrote a letter to the Coal Ministry earlier this month, 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.

To weed out non-serious players, the government, last year, 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.