Govt notices to MMTC, six others for delays in mining coal

Govt notices to MMTC, six others for delays in mining coal

New Delhi: Continuing its tirade against companies sitting idle on coal blocks alloted to them, the government has issued notices to state-owned MMTC, Nilanchal Iron & Power and five others on such delays.

In separate show-cause notices issued to companies, the coal ministry has asked as to why action, including withdrawal of coal blocks, should not be initiated against them.

The ministry maintained that the seven companies have failed to stick to commitments made to the government to develop their respective coal blocks.

The move to issue notices to firms is part of the coal ministry’s efforts to weed out “non-serious" companies sitting on such reserves without meeting development milestones.

In notices dated 21 October the coal ministry has given the firms 30 days to explain why the separate blocks alloted to them were not developed. It also warned them that if they fail to respond in a month the de-allocation process would be initiated for “violation of the terms and conditions."

While MMTC Ltd was given notice for Gomia coal block in Jharkhand, Nilanchal Iron and Power Ltd was given for Dumri coal block in Jharkhand on sharing basis.

Other firms which were issued notices include Jharkhand State Electricity Board, Chhattisgarh Electricity Company Ltd among others.

Including these seven companies, so far the government has served notices to over 40 companies in this regard.

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 under power, cement and steel projects.

India produced about 532 million tonnes of coal in 2009-10 and aims to cross the 600 million tonnes mark in 2010-11. However, the demand-supply gap is likely to be in the range of 80 million tonnes.