6 More Coal Blocks to Be Cancelled, 7 to Lose Guarantee
Stepping up action, the government today decided to cancel six more coal blocks allocated to private companies and deduct bank guarantees of seven others for failing to develop the mines within the time-frame.

"Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal today approved the IMG's recommendation to de-allocate six more mines and deduct bank guarantees of seven. Earlier, the government has already announced cancelling licences of seven mines and deducting bank guarantees of seven others," sources told PTI.

Bhaskarpara allotted to Grasim Industries and Electrotherm; Dahegaon Markardhokra IV given to IST Steel & Power; North Dhadu allotted to Electrosteel Castings; Choritand Telaiyaallotted to Rungta Mines and Gondkhari block allotted to Maharashtra Seamless were among the blocks whose deallocation was approved today, the sources said.

The seven blocks approved for deduction of bank guarantees include Seregarha block given jointly to the world's largest steel producer ArcelorMittal and GVK Powe; Moitra block allotted to Jayaswal Neco; Dumri block given to Neelachal Iron & Steel and Durgapur II/ Sariya block allotted to DB Power, the sources said.

With this, the government has accepted all the recommendations by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG), which had recommended de-allocation of 13 mines and deduction of bank guarantees of 14 allottees after scrutinising 31 coal blocks allotted to private companies.

Among the de-allocated blocks, Dahegaon-Makardhokra IV block was given to IST Steel and Power, along with cement firms Gujarat Ambuja and Lafarge India, in June 2009. The block has a total of 48.84 million tonnes (MT) of extractable reserves.

The Bhaskarpara was allotted to Electrotherm (India) Ltd and Grasim Industries jointly on November 21, 2008 for a sponge iron project. It has extractable reserves of 18.67 MT. Both the blocks are in Chhattisgarh.

North Dhadu mine in Jharkhand, allotted to Electrosteel Castings & Others in January 2006, has extractable reserves of 340 million tonnes (MT) and the coal from the mine was meant to be used in sponge iron project.

Choritand Taliya mine in Jharkhand was allotted to Rungta Mines & Sunflag Iron & Steel in May 2008 for a pig iron project. It has extractable reserves of 70.81 MT.

Gondkhari mine in Maharashtra was allotted to Maharashtra Seamless in November 2008.

Among the mines recommended for deduction of bank guarantees, Seregarha block in Jharkhand was allotted jointly to steel giant ArcelorMittal and GVK Power in January 2008 for a power project. The mine has extractable reserves of 55.5 MT.

Dumri block in Jharkhand, which has extractable reserve of 40.85 MT, was jointly given to Neelachal Iron & Power Generation & Bajrang Ispat in January 2006 for a sponge iron project.

Durgapur II/Sariya block in Chhattisgarh with reserves of 66.9 MT was allotted to DB Power in November 2007.

Moitra block in Jharkhand with estimated extractable reserves of 29.9 MT, which also has been recommended for deduction of bank guarantee, was alloted to Jayasawal Neco in May 2005.

Most of the blocks facing action find mention in the latest CAG report, which says undue benefits to the tune of Rs 1.86 lakh crore might accrue to private firms on account of allocation of 57 mines to them without bidding.
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