Govt may warn NTPC of cancellation of another two coal blocks

Govt may warn NTPC of cancellation of another two coal blocks

New Delhi: After cancelling NTPC’s five coal blocks last week, the coal ministry is likely to soon warn the power company that its two more fields will be deallocated if they are not developed immediately.

“We will soon send letters to National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) warning and directing them to develop Pakri Barwadih (Jharkhand) and Talaipalli (Chhattisgarh) coal blocks," an official in the coal ministry said.

“Any further failure in development of the block(s) would lead to necessary action as per the terms and conditions of allocation, including deallocation of the coal blocks," the official said.

The estimated production capacity of Pakri-Barwadih block in North Karanpura coalfield in Jharkhand is 15 million tonnes (MT), while in the case of Talaipalli block in Mand-Raigarh coalfield in Chhattisgarh, it is 18 MT.

The geological reserves of Pakri-Barwadih is 1,436 MT and for Tallaipalli it is 1,267 MT.

The coal ministry had issued show cause notices to the PSU in September last year asking it as to why its coal blocks should not be withdrawn for its failure to develop these within the stipulated time-frame.

In the notices, the ministry had stated that both the blocks weren’t developed despite the issue having being raised at the Prime Minister’s level in January, 2007.

Pakri Barwadih was alloted to the public sector firm in 2004 and the production from this block was scheduled to start from 2008-09. Tallaipalli block was allocated to NTPC to feed its 4,000 MW power projects which has to start production by March-end next year, according to the coal ministry.

A couple of days back the coal ministry had sent letters to Gondwana Ispat and Andhra Pradesh Development Corp warning that coal blocks allocated to them would be cancelled if they failed to develop them in time.

The government had last month said that the panel set up by the ministry to look into the process of deallocation of coal blocks had recommended issuing warnings to 29 coal and three lignite blocks allocatees for bringing their production at the earliest.

The panel had also suggested cancellation of 14 coal blocks and one lignite block to six PSUs, including NTPC and three private firms for failing to develop the mines.

As part of its deallocation drive, this year the government has deallocated coal blocks of various firms, including NTPC, Damodar Valley Corporation, Jharkhand State Electricity Board, Baidyanath Ayurved Bhavan, Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Limited, and Bhatia International Limited.