Cancel mines allotted to Chhattisgarh, Odisha govt cos: IMG

Cancel mines allotted to Chhattisgarh, Odisha govt cos: IMG
New Delhi:

The Inter-Ministerial Group on coal has recommended de-allocation of two mines allotted to government firms -- Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) and Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) -- for their failure to develop blocks within stipulated timelines.

"The IMG has recommended cancelling allotment of two coal blocks to CMDC and OMC as they failed to develop the blocks within the stipulated timeframe," an official in the Coal Ministry told PTI.

The Shankarpur/Bhatgaon II & Extension block in Chhattisgarh alloted to CMDC in 2007 has been deallocated as the firm failed to adhere the development deadline of the block, the official said adding the other block for which cancellation has been recommended was allotted to OMC. The block in Bisrampur Coalfields has a geological reserve of 80 million tonnes (MT).

The decision to de-allocate both the blocks followed a marathon eight-hour meeting by the IMG during which 10 cases out of total 33 were reviewed. The review of the remaining blocks is being undertaken today.

The IMG on October 9 and 10 had examined 33 coal blocks allocated to public sector firms including Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation, NALCO and MMTC which were issued notices for delay in production.

The panel has already concluded the scrutiny of 31 coal blocks allotted to 51 private firms and last month the
government had accepted its recommendations for de-allocation of 13 mines and deduction of bank guarantees of 14 allottees.

A total of 58 mines were issued show-cause notices for their failure to develop blocks within stipulated timeline. The government had formed the IMG in July to review progress of coal blocks allocated to firms for captive use. The CAG had estimated that undue benefits to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore might accrue to private firms on account of allocation of 57 mines to them without auction.