Millennium Post

Coal block auction: CIL seeks clarity on 3 mines from ministry

With a fresh process underway for allocation of 204 coal mines for their 'development and optimum utilisation', Coal India has informed the government that the list also includes two blocks already allocated to it and mining work was on in another mine post its de-allocation.

However, these three blocks figure in the 'Schedule I' list of those coal mines, which are being auctioned afresh as per an ordinance promulgated by the government in the wake of their cancellation by the Supreme Court, Coal India Ltd (CIL) has informed the Coal Ministry.

As per the ordinance, "it is expedient in the public interest that Union should take action for the development of Schedule I coal mines and extraction of coal on continuous basis for optimum utilisation".

The ordinance further says that the 'Schedule I coal mines' are those blocks whose allocation was cancelled by the Supreme Court order of September 24, 2014 and include those allotments which may have been de-allocated prior to and during the pendency of that case.

The 'Schedule I' coal mines are "to be allocated by way of public auction".

Asking the Coal Ministry to do the "needful", CIL has said that the two blocks in Jharkhand have been already allocated to its subsidiary Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL).

Besides, "mining activities are going on" in another block in West Bengal, which was de-allocated earlier and returned back to Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), also a subsidiary of CIL.

CIL, in its letter, said that the East of Damagoria (Kalyaneshwari) block was returned back to BCCL after its de-allocation, and mining activities are going on there.

As per Schedule I list, this block was earlier allotted to West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd (WBPDCL).

With regard to the other two blocks, CIL said that Brahmini and Chichro Patsimal coal mines in Jharkhand have been already allocated to it by Coal Ministry, but they are appearing in the Coal Mines (Special Provision) Ordinance under the 'Schedule I'.

The Coal Ministry has earlier cancelled the allocation of Brahmini and Chichro Patsimal coal blocks in Jharkhand given to NTPC and Coal India JV. Later, the mines were allocated to Coal India Ltd. 
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