The Ministry of Coal (MoC) has decided to allocate the Talabira II and III coal blocks located in Odisha to Tamil Nadu government owned Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).
The coal blocks have been awarded in sync with the provisions of Section 5 (1) of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015.
Since the two coal blocks were previously allocated jointly to NLC, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) and Aditya Birla Group-owned Hindalco Industries, the MoC will work out a compensation figure payable to the prior allotees.
In order to carry out the valuation of the coal blocks, the ministry has instructed the prior allotees to submit relevant documents like copy of geological report, soft copy of the approved mine plan and mine closure plan, information on status of project and readiness for production and copies of all permits and licenses such as environment clearance, forest clearance, mining lease, ground water clearance, consent from the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) and grade analysis report.
The ministry has also called for details of land acquisition, status of rehabilitation & resettlement (if any), details of infrastructure and capital investment and bank-wise credit facilities availed with respect to the coal block.
Chennai-based Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd (NLC), a navratna PSU had earlier evinced interest in setting up a 2000 MW coal-fired power plant in Odisha through a joint venture with a state government owned PSU.
The proposed power plant envisages an investment of around Rs 10,000 crore.
Though the exact location for this power plant is yet to be decided, NLC had preferred to put up the plant in the vicinity of Talabira-2 and Talabira-3 situated under the command area of MCL.
The allocation of Talabira II to Hindalco had stirred a hornet's nest and was at the centre of the coal scam. In its 14th first information report (FIR) in the alleged coal block allocation scam, the CBI had claimed industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla who controls the Aditya Birla Group and former coal secretary P C Parakh conspired to overturn the screening committee recommendations and allot part of a coal block meant for state-owned entities to Birla's company.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik had also come under the scanner in his role in recommending allocation of the Talabira II coal block to Hindalco.