On the second day of the three-day long interaction of the high-level inter ministerial group (IMG) on coal block development, 10 more companies today presented their cases to the panel justifying the reasons for the delay in production. These companies are among the 58 that have been issued showcause notices by the government threatening cancellation of allocations.
Today, presentations were made by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) subsidiary Reliance Power, Jindal Power Ltd, Tata Sponge, Arcelor Mittal, GVK Power & Infrastructure and Bhushan Steel. As expected, the companies blamed the “tedious” process of obtaining green clearances and land acquisition for the delays in production.
Reliance Power told the IMG that they had already started production from the Moher and Moher Amlohri coal blocks, allotted for Sasan Ultra mega Power project, recently. “The production from the mines has started ahead of schedule. Even the first 660 Megawatt (Mw) unit of Sasan project would be commissioned four months ahead of schedule in December,” Reliance Power CEO J P Chalasani told media persons.
Tata Sponge blamed the late receipt of Geological Report for the delay in developing the Radhikapur East block in Odisha, apart from the delays in clearances. “We expect the block to start producing in one-and-a-half years. A moratorium imposed on environmenmt clearances led to the delay,” Chief Operating Officer Ujjwal Chatterjee said.
GVK Power, which presented its case for delays in the Seregarha block to the IMG, said it will develop the block in 2-3 years. “We have already invested Rs 2,400 crore in the end-use power project,” the company’s Managing Director Krishna Ram Bhupal said. GVK Power holds the Seregarha block jointly with Arcelor Mittal. Bhupal added the IMG expressed satisfaction to know that the plant is on track.
The inter-ministerial panel had yesterday sought explanations for delays from ten companies including Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd, Usha Martin, Jayaswal Neco, Electrosteel Casting Ltd and Neelachal Iron & Steel Ltd.
The IMG, headed by Zohra Chatterji, Additional Secretary in the coal ministry, has to submit its recommendations on cancellation of allocations by 15 September. After that the coal ministry will take a final call on the fate of the blocks under scanner.