New Delhi: The Centre on Monday filed its affidavit in the Supreme Court stating various developments taking place since 1992 on coal block identification and allocation to private companies.
In its 24-page affidavit, backed by voluminous records, the Centre contended the Coal India Ltd is the lessee of state governments in respect of the coal mines which were vested Coal Mines Authority after nationalisation of the natural resources in 1973.
It said basic identification exercise of coal blocks is done by the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL) but the allocation of blocks for captive mining is done by CIL.
"In the circumstances, it is clear that basic identification exercise was conducted by CMPDIL but a final decision allowing such blocks to be given for captive mining had to be that of CIL since basically the interest of CIL had to be taken into consideration," the affidavit said.
The Centre said 172 blocks came to be identified for captive mining in 1997 which were not proposed to be taken up by CIL. It said total geological reserve available for Coal India is estimated around 123 billion tonnes.