Company not having green nod to lose coal block
The government has decided to deallocate all the captive coal blocks which have not obtained environment and in-principle forest clearances
CoalNew Delhi: The government has decided to deallocate all the captive coal blocks which have not obtained environment and in-principle forest clearances and has issued show-cause notice to allocatees of 61 such mines.
The move comes in the backdrop of the Supreme Court posing some tough questions on allocation process for coal blocks and questioning the Centre over the functioning of the screening committee that made allotment recommendations.
“The following coal blocks will be deallocated… Coal blocks where environmental clearance and forest clearance stage-I (in-principle) have not been obtained,” S K Shahi, Director in the Coal Ministry, said in a letter to allocates of 61 blocks.
Coal blocks, which are unexplored or partially explored at the time of allocation and where prospecting licence (PL) has not been obtained, will also be cancelled, it said.
The letter further added that in cases of coal blocks where PL has been issued but geological reports have not been prepared will also be cancelled.
Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal, Hindalco, Jindal Steel and Power, JSW Steel, Essar Power, Adani Power, Tata Power, GVK Power and Infrastructure, Ultratech Cement, Reliance Energy, Sterlite Energy and JP Associates are some of the allocates who feature in the list of 61.
Some blocks, which are already under the scrutiny of CBI such as Mahan to Essar Power and Hindalco, Brinda Sasai and Meral to Abhijeet Infrastructure, Bander to AMR Iron and Steel, also figure in the list.
Fatehpur coal block, allocated to SKS Ispat & Power Ltd, the company allegedly linked to former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, is also a part of the list.
The allocatees have been given time till February 5 to obtain the requisite clearances and produce proofs in support of approvals.
“Within a week thereafter (after February 5), a decision for deallocation will be taken,” the letter said, adding that this notice supersedes all previous notices on the matter.
It also said that allocatees who have secured EC and FC Stage-I and have applied for FC stage-II (final clearance) have time till February 12 to submit their response along with documentary evidence to their claims.
The list of 61 blocks include Kotre Basantpur and Pachmo and Ganeshpur blocks of Tata Steel, Seregarha to ArcelorMittal and GVK Power, Tubed to Hindalco and Tata Power and Lohara West and Lohara Extension to Adani Power.
Jindal Steel and Power’s 3 blocks Utkal B1, Gare Palma IV/6 and Jitpur also part of the 61. Rohne, jointly allocated to JSW Steel and Bhushan Power and Steel’s, too figure in the list.
Mandakini block to Monnet Ispat and Energy, Jindal Photo and Tata Power, Rampia and Dipside of Rampia blocks to Sterlite Energy, GMR Energy, Lanco, ArcelorMittal, Reliance Energy and Nabbharat Power are also in the list of 61 blocks.
Besides questioning the functioning of the screening committee yesterday, the Supreme Court was also critical of the Centre for its “laxity” in deallocating coal blocks from entities which held them for long without meeting necessary clearances.