The Coal Ministry has decided to deduct bank guarantee of Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. (APMDCL) to the tune of Rs.2.24 crore for delay in developing the Suliyari coal block allocated to it.

In a communication to the APMDCL, the Coal Ministry has conveyed that during the review meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, the progress of development of the Suliyari coal block was undertaken and it was found to be unsatisfactory and a letter was issued in January 2012 as a word of caution and the need to expedite its progress.

The matter was further referred to the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) which again recommended issuing show cause notice for unsatisfactory development of the block. Following this, APMDCL was issued a letter informing about the deduction of bank guarantee. In a related development, NTPC has been asked to immediately furnish Rs.232.84 crore as bank guarantee or face de-allocation of its Talaipalli coal block in Chhattisgarh. Failure to pay the amount would result in the block being taken back as there has been considerable delay in developing the block by the company, the communication has stated.

Talaipalli block was allocated to NTPC in 2006 to meet the requirement of its 4,000 MW Lara integrated power project.

The Inter-Ministerial Group found in its review that no significant progress was made by NTPC in developing the coal block and a show cause notice was issued last year. On its part, NTPC replied and argued that the delay had been on account of land transfer and approval of the rehabilitation package by the Chhattisgarh Government. Till June last year, NTPC had invested Rs.1,139 crore in the project.

“Taking into account the facts before it, and the fact that the environment and forest clearance (stage1) has been granted and mine opening is pending for transfer of land by the state government as well as the fact that against the scheduled date of production of February 2011, the mine could not be opened so far, the IMG recommends imposition of bank guarantee,” the communication said.

NTPC asked to furnish Rs.233 crore as bank guarantee