The government has served notices to ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel, Vedanta Group firm Sterlite Energy, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Energy and others for delays in development of coal blocks allocated to them.

The notices, which have been issued by the Union Coal Ministry, have asked the companies concerned to explain reasons for delays within 30 days of the show-cause notices, failing which actions like deallocation of the blocks could begin.

The show-cause notices were issued to as many as 17 firms on November 3 & 4, 2010.

The world’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal has been issued two separate notices for inordinate delays in developing Seregarha coal block in Jharkhand which it shares with GVK Power (Govindwal Sahib) and another on Rampia and Dip Side of Rampia block in the state.

The steel major shares the other block with five other firms — Vedanta group firm Sterlite Energy, Essar Group-led Navbharat Power, GMR Energy, Lanco Group, Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group firm Reliance Energy. The blocks were jointly allocated in 2008.

When contacted, Arcelor Mittal’s spokesperson said.

“We have not received the aforementioned notice.”

Tata Steel spokesperson also said that the company has so far not received any such notice. Other companies did not immediately respond to an emailed query.

The government while allocating the mentioned blocks to Arcelor Mittal and the sharing firms stated that the allocation of the deposits could be cancelled on the ground of unsatisfactory progress in the development of coal mining project or implementation of their end use projects.

Tata Steel (erstwhile TISCO) was issued such notices for Kotre-Basantpur and Pachmo coal blocks in Jharkhand which were alloted in 2005 to feed its flagship steel plant in Jamshedpur in the state.

Another Tata group firm Tata Sponge Iron Ltd was issued a similar notice for Radhikapur (East) coal block in Orissa which was jointly allocated to it with Scaw Industries, SPS Sponge Iron Ltd in 2006 to meet their respective captive coal requirements.

Such notices were also served to Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Ltd, Rungta Mines Ltd, OCL India Ltd, Ocean Ispat Pvt, Bihar Sponge Iron Ltd, Mideast Integrated Steels Ltd. These companies, however, could not be contacted for comments.