| In line of fire
New Delhi, Sept. 15 (PTI): The inter-ministerial group on coal blocks today decided to recommend cancellation of three more mines, taking the total number of blocks suggested for cancellation because of insufficient progress to seven.
“The IMG has recommended deallocation of three blocks namely Gourangdih ABC Coal Block allotted to Himachal EMTA Power Ltd & JSW Steel, Rawanwara North Coal Block allotted to SKS Ispat and Power Ltd and New Patrapara Coal Block allotted to Bhushan Steel Ltd and others,” an official statement today said.
Bhushan Steel was allotted New Patrapara block in Odisha in January 2006. The block has an extractable reserve of 316.09 million tonnes. It was meant to be used for making sponge iron, which finds application in steel manufacturing.
The blocks also find mention in the CAG report which had estimated that the company got undue benefit to the tune of Rs 9,338 crore.
“The IMG has recommended deduction of bank guarantee in the cases of Nerad Malegaon Block allotted to Gupta Metaliks & Power Ltd & Gupta Coalfields Ltd, Lohari block allotted to Usha Martin Ltd, Radhikapur East coal block allotted to Tata Sponge Iron Ltd & others, and Bijahan Coal Block allotted to Bhushan Ltd,” the statement said.
The IMG has, however, not recommended deduction of bank guarantee or deallocation in the cases of Moher and Moher Amlohri Blocks allotted to Sasan Power Ltd and Pachmo Block allotted to Tata Steel Ltd.
On September 13, the IMG had recommended de-allocation of four blocks — Bramhadiha block in Jharkhand allocated to Castron Mining Ltd in 1996, Chinora and Warora (southern part) blocks in Maharashtra given to Fieldmining and Ispat Ltd in 2003 and Lalgarh (North) block in Jharkhand allotted to Domco Smokeless Fuels Pvt Ltd in 2005.
The panel has so far scrutinised the replies furnished by 18 coal block allottees, including four today, in its three meeting in the last four days. It will meet again on Monday.