Millennium Post

Coal auction 2nd round postponed to March 4

The government has put off the second round of auction of 21 coal blocks to early next month.

The auction of mines in the second tranche was earlier scheduled to begin from Wednesday. “The auctions (of second lot of coal mines will) begin on March 4,” a Coal Ministry official said. Coal Secretary Anil Swarup tweeted, “Announcement of qualified bidders for Schedule 3 Coal Blocks on March 2. Auctions (of schedule III mines) to be held from March 4-8.”

Swarup further tweeted that the entire process of auction of schedule III blocks will be completed by April 2. The government has already sold 19 coal blocks in the first lot of coal auctions. The auction of the first phase which began on February 14 was completed on Sunday.

The auction follows the Supreme Court decision last year to cancel allocation of 204 coal mines. According to the official, the date for second round of auctions has been postponed as the matter pertaining to two-round financial bidding process under the ongoing coal auction is pending with
the court.

“The High Court has listed the matter for hearing on this Friday,” an official said.Bhushan Power and Steel and Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd has challenged in the court the two-round financial bidding process under the ongoing coal auction, saying such a method was “arbitrary and irrational” as the Ordinance and the rules under it did not provide for such a procedure.

The mines on offer for schedule III mines are Brinda and Sisai mines in Jharkhand, Durgapur and Taraimar coal blocks in Chhattisgarh, Jamkhani coal block in Odisha, Lohari mine in Jharkhand, Marki Mangli-IV mine in Maharashtra, Nerad Malegaon in Maharastra, Dongrital II (Phase I) mine in MP, Ganeshpur mine in Jharkhand, Jitpur mine in Jharkhand and Mandakini A mine in Odisha.

Other mines on auction are Meral coal block in Jharkhand, Rohne Coal Block in Jharkhand, Utkal C in Odisha, Dumri Block in Jharkhand, Gare Palma IV/8 in Chhattisgarh.
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