Millennium Post

Facing illegal mining at our Jharkhand coal block: Arup

‘There are issues of illegal mining in areas where mining has started, like in the Pakri Barwadih coal block. The state government is not providing law and order support, therefore we are unable to mine, locals are mining from there,’ NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhury said.

Country's largest power generation utility NTPC, which is also developing coal blocks in Jharkhand, has alleged that there is rampant illegal mining in the vicinity of its Pakri Barwadih block.

He said the company informed the state government last year that thousands of villagers gathered at Arhara village under Barkagaon block in Pakri-Barwadih Coal Block area of NTPC extracted coal. NTPC is also operating three more coal mines in the state — Chhatti Bariatu, Pakri-Barwadih and Kerandhari. When asked whether other coal blocks are also affected due to illegal mining, he said at Chhatti Bariatu South the company is preparing the block for mining.

The Coal Ministry, earlier this month, had issued a show-cause notice to NTPC for delay in production from Chatti Bariatu South coal block and sought explanation from the power PSU for making slow progress in another mine in the state.

Chatti-Bariatu, Kerandari and Chatti-Bariatu (South) coal blocks were re-allotted to the company in January last year. They were forfeited because of long delays in developing them.

The company ventured into coal mining business with an aim to meet about 20 per cent of its coal requirement from the captive mines by 2017. It has so far been allotted 7 coal blocks, including 2 that are to be developed through the joint venture route.

Govt to offer 4 out of 10 coal blocks to power sector in auction’s first tranche

The Centre is planning to offer four coal blocks to power sector out of the proposed ten to be auctioned in the first lot through competitive bidding in the first tranche.

‘We are planning to offer four coal blocks to the power sector and other six for non-power sectors,’ coal secretary S K Srivastava said.

He said that in another one month the government was hoping to concretise the road map for the auction. The ministry was learnt to have shortlisted some 29 blocks that would be put for auction through competitive bidding route.

Srivastava said the government would auction the coal blocks after deciding on the sectors to be offered.

It was yet to finalise the sectors for which the other six blocks would be offered in the first tranche, he said. The government, in the past, had expressed confidence in completing the auction by March.
The Coal ministry was also in the process of finalising new bidding rules and a draft request for proposal (RFP) for public feedback had already been issued.

The draft RFP said that if an allottee was found to have directly or indirectly engaged in a corrupt, fraudulent, coercive, undesirable or restrictive practice in the bidding, then it won’t be eligible
to participate in any tender or RFP for another five years. Incidentally, the ministry was trying
to incorporate strong clauses to prevent any corrupt practise.
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