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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jharkhand gets back four coal blocks

Thursday, 05 Jan 2012

The Telegraph reported that Mr Sriprakash Jaiswal India’s coal minister has kept his promise to friend and Jharkhand chief minister Mr Arjun Munda with his ministry taking an in principle decision to re allocate four out of five coal blocks taken away in May.

The blocks three of which were with National Thermal Power Corporation in Karanpura one with Jharkhand State Electricity Board in Banhardih and another that was jointly allocated to Damodar Valley Corporation and Jharkhand government undertaking Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited in Gondulpara were taken away after the companies overshot their deadlines to develop them.

The blocks which were allocated between 2006 and 2007, translate into a combined reserve of 1,836 million tonnes. The companies had blamed the delay in developing them on Naxalites slow land acquisition and forest clearances.

Senior official in Mr Jaiswal office told The Telegraph that “Except the JSEB block in Banhardih all other blocks have been cleared for in principle re-allocation under strict conditions. They will have to deposit a stipulated bank guarantee and undertake that they will develop the mine within 24 months. This can be extended by another 12 months if their reasons are satisfactory. If there is still delay, they will not only lose the block, but also the guarantee.”

He added that the Banhardih block also might be re-allocated to JSEB soon as a policy decision was taken on this in a meeting chaired by additional secretary Mr Zohra Chatterji more than a month back.

Mr Munda along with his deputy Mr Hemant Soren had met Mr Jaiswal in July to protest against the coal blocks being taken away. They pitched for a review on grounds that Banhardih was awarded through the state dispensation route and all the blocks were critical to ensure power to a new state trying to attract industry. Then, Mr Jaiswal had promised on camera to help his dost Mr Mundaji.

(Sourced from

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