Delhi govt coal block in 12 facing de-allocation

This is the first time a Congress party-led government is being called to testify on coal blocks.

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi | Published: September 8, 2012 3:00:55 am

Delhi government top officials are likely to be among those appearing before the inter-ministerial group (IMG) on Saturday to explain why along with errant private sector developers their block too has remained unexplored for six years.

This is the first time a Congress party-led government is being called to testify on coal blocks.

Delhi had been allocated Mara II Mahan block in Madhya Pradesh along with Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited in 2006. IMG sources said this could be among the 12 coal blocks de-allocated soon,as “obviously the Delhi government does not have any plans to go ahead with its development”.

The group headed by Coal Ministry Additional Secretary Zohra Chatterji is hearing 25 companies awarded coal blocks between 2004 and 2006. “All of the allocattees have made their respective arguments,with a majority of them citing practical difficulties being encountered by them at the state level,” a source said,adding they were raising green clearances to land acquisition hurdles and local resistance.

“We have clear opinion about 12 blocks where the owners have not done anything and all their milestones are pending. All such blocks may face de-allocation,” the source said.

While ArcelorMittal,DB Power,Jindal Power and Steel,GVK,Reliance Power have already appeared before the IMG,those holding smaller blocks would be testifying on Saturday.

However,the Coal Ministry will take its time ascertaining the merits of de-allocation. It does not want to be seen as acting in haste following the CAG’s findings,which state that private firms benefitted to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore owing to allocation of blocks without auctions.

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