Asks them to explain their failure to develop the coal blocks

The Coal Ministry, on Tuesday, slapped show cause notices on 12 companies, asking them to explain their failure to develop the coal blocks allocated to them by June 30, failing which their coal assets would face de-allocation.

“You are hereby called upon to show cause, on each milestone separately, to this Ministry within 20 days as to why the delay in the development of the coal block should not be held as violation of the terms and conditions of the allotment, failing which action, as appropriate, would be taken against your company for de-allocation,’’ the notice states.

The companies, which were issued show cause notices, are: NTPC. SAIL, TVNL, Damodar Valley Corporation, Bhushan Steel and Power, West Bengal Power Development Corporation and Madhya Pradesh State Mining Corporation, Maharashtra State Mining Corporations, Abhijit Infrastructure, Rungta Mines, OCL India and Ocean Ispat.

The decision to issue show cause notices comes close on the heels of the Ministry issuing similar notices to 11 firms, including Naveen Jindal-owned Jindal Steel and Power, Monnet Ispat and GVK Power, last week for not developing the mines allocated to them for captive use.

The Coal Ministry said while NTPC failed to develop the Talaipalli block (allocated to it in January, 2006) by March, 2012, as scheduled, SAIL failed to meet the milestone of developing the Sitanala block.

The notices to firms were issued for 12 blocks, including Gondulpara, Jamkhani, Brinda, Sasai, Meral, Radhikapur (West), Gangaramchak, Gangaramchak Bhadulia, Marki Barka and Warora allocated between June, 2003, and July, 2007. A major condition for allocation was that coal production from the captive block shall commence within 36 months in case of open cast mine, and within 48 months in case of underground mine from the date of allocation letter.

During the review meetings, the progress of these firms in developing the coal mines was found to be unsatisfactory.

The Ministry also sought a detailed status note on the progress of end-use plant by the companies which were allocated mines.

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