Under mounting pressure to act against the alleged irregularities in the allotment of coal blocks,the government announced Thursday that it has decided to cancel the allotment of four blocks and encash bank guarantees offered for three other blocks which had not been developed on schedule.
A Coal Ministry statement said the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) looking into the issue had recommended cancellation of four blocks: Bramhadih Block in Jharkhand allotted to Castron Mining Ltd in 1996; Chinora and Warora (Southern part) blocks in Maharashtra given to Fieldmining and Ispat Ltd in 2003; Lalgarh (North) block in Jharkhand allotted to DOMCO Smokeless Fuels Pvt Ltd in 2005.
The IMG also recommended encashing bank guarantees of Marki Mangli-II,III and IV Blocks in Maharashtra allotted to Shri Virangana Steels Ltd. Recommendations have been accepted by the government, the statement said.
The IMG recommended that Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd be asked to submit a bank guarantee amounting to three years royalty within a month for its Utkal B2 Block in Orissa,failing which the allotment be cancelled.
The eight blocks are among 58 being probed by IMG. The panel has so far taken up cases of 29 blocks allotted to private firms. While eight blocks were reviewed on Wednesday,10 more are expected to be taken up on Friday.