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Odisha protests coal block de-allocation

Source : BUSINESS_STANDARD
Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 21:02 hrs

pThe Odisha government has decided to lodge protest before the Centre over de-allocate of two coal blocks meant for its public sector mining companypp&ldquoWe will write a letter to the Centre protesting against the decision The state mines secretary will also be meeting the Union mines secretary soon to raise the matter&rdquo said Rajnikanth Singh state steel and mines ministerpp&ldquoThey are canceling the blocks one-by-one It shows that the Center does not want progress of Odisha&rdquo he addedppThe Union coal ministry recently wrote a letter to the Odisha Mining Corporation OMC mentioning about de-allocation of Mandakini-B coal block allotted to it in 2007 along with other state owned companies of Assam Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu A week earlier it had cancelled the Utkal-D coal block of OMCppThe cancellation of Mandakini-B block also includes forfeiture of half of Rs 9750 crore bank guarantee submitted by the four state-run companies amounting to Rs 4875 crore State steel & mines secretary Rajesh Verma said the state government would move the Coal ministry yet again after receiving the de-allocation letters in respect of the two coal blockspp&ldquoThe state government had earlier pointed out that joint allocation of coal blocks is creating delay in development of the blocks by the state PSU We had demanded that coal blocks in Odisha awarded to non-serious PSUs of other states should be de-allocated and the same blocks should be awarded to OMC This apart the state government had demanded that it should be given a hearing before any decision is taken by the Coal ministry on de-allocation&rdquo he said The recent notification is part of the decision of an inter-ministerial group IMG at the Centre formed in July this year after coal scam row to scrutinise the status of allocated coal reserves The IMG in November had recommended to de-allocate eight coal blocks given to PSUs citing delay in developing the coal fieldsppWhile recommending de-allocation of Manadakini-B block the IMG criticised OMC heavily over its lackadaisical attitude to develop the blockppMandakini-B block located in Angul district posses 1200 million tonne reserves which were to be equally distributed among OMC Meghalaya Mineral Development Corporation Assam Mineral Development Corporation and Tamil Nadu Electricity Boardp

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