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Coal block re-allocation: States, PSUs get back lost mines

Power-starved states get at least one coal block each

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Almost all state-owned entities that lost their producing coal blocks following the Supreme Court judgment have got back the same in the re-allocation done by the government.

West Bengal Power Development Corporation got six mines, five of which it had owned before, giving a chance to the state government to resume mining for end-use power generation. Other states which now have captive mine for power generation are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Telangana, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

Power-starved states Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have got one coal block each. Rajasthan has got two blocks, while Gujarat and Punjab's respective power generation companies have got one coal block each. India's second-largest coal miner, Singareni Collieries, had to be content with one coal block though it bid for six.

Two of the richest coal blocks in Chhattisgarh - Gare Palma-II and Gare Palma-III - went to Maharashtra State Power Generation Company and Chhattisgarh State Power Generation Company, respectively. These two blocks, which boast of high grade coal available at lesser depth with evacuation facility at most places, had received the highest number of bids.

State-owned NTPC has got four mines, out of which two were previously owned by it. The company, in its earlier statement, had said it was expecting to get coal totalling 70 million tonnes from the ongoing re-allocation of captive mines.

Earlier this month, the coal ministry had received 107 online applications, or technical bids, for 43 coal blocks put under the 'allotment criteria'. The government has allotted mines through only technical evaluation to the states and public sector utilities.

Only one block had end-use in the steel sector, with the rest being for power generation. The one operating coal block for steel - Sitanala in Jharkhand - went to its sole applicant - Steel Authority of India Ltd, its former owner.

The applications citing technical expertise of the interested parties were opened on March 1. The bids were then evaluated by a technical evaluation committee comprising representation from coal ministry, power ministry and Central Electricity Authority of India.

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First Published: Wed, March 25 2015. 00:32 IST