Powermin again asks coalmin to review NTPC’s blocks cancellation

Powermin again asks coalmin to review NTPC’s blocks cancellation

New Delhi: The power ministry has again approached coal ministry asking it to review its decision to cancel allotment of five coal blocks to NTPC, as the decision would hit the state-run power company’s plans to boost its power generation capacity during 2012-17.

“Coal ministry yesterday received a letter from power secretary P. Uma Shankar in which the latter had requested the former to have a relook at the decision to cancel the allotment of coal blocks to NTPC," sources said.

The ministry of coal will examine the ministry of power’s request and place it before the coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, sources added.

Last month, power ministry joint secretary I. C. P. Keshari had also written a letter to the coal ministry, requesting it to review the decision, saying that NTPC’s plans to add 15,000 MW generation capacity were likely to be hit.

In the letter, the power ministry had said that state-run power major has already spent Rs175 crore for developing the blocks alloted to it and deallocation of these would prove detrimental for 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) capacity addition plans.

NTPC chairman Arup Roy Choudhury had also in June wrote to coal secretary C. Balakrishnan seeking the review of deallocation decision.

Considering NTPC’s request, Jaiswal a fortnight back had asked the PSU to come up with a fresh representation detailing steps taken to develop these blocks.

Last month, Choudhury had met Jaiswal and requested him to have a relook at the decision. The minister had then asked him to provide details of steps taken to develop these blocks and investments entailed in the process, the official said.

Citing NTPC’s failure to develop the fields on time as a reason, the coal ministry had cancelled NTPC’s five coal blocks -- Chhati Bariatu (South), Chatti Bariatu, Kerandari, Brahmini and Chichro Pastimal -- in May.

Of the de-allocated blocks, Chatti Bariatu and Kerandari coal blocks in North Karanpura coalfields in Jharkhand were allocated to NTPC in 2006 for captive use while Chatti Bariatu (South) coal block was given to public sector firm in 2007.

Brahimini and Chichro Patsimal coal blocks in Jharkhand were allocated to the power major in 2006.