NTPC has expressed hope of getting three out of its five de-allocated mines from the government this month.

“We may get these mines (Chatti Bariatu, Chatti Bariatu (S), Kerandari) this month,” NTPC Chairman and Managing Director Mr Arup Roy Choudhury told PTI.

The Coal Ministry last year had de-allocated NTPC’s five mines - Chatti Bariatu, Chatti Bariatu (S), Kerandari, Brahmani and Chichiro Patsimal - in Jharkhand following the power firm’s failure to develop them within the stipulated time-frame.

Earlier this year, the Coal Ministry had also said that in-principle it has given three de-allocated coal blocks - Chatti Bariatu, Chatti Bariatu (S), Kerandari - to NTPC.

However, till date there is no written communication in this regard to NTPC.

The remaining two of the five de-allocated coal blocks of the PSU - Brahmani and Chichiro Patsimal - were recently allocated to Coal India Ltd (CIL) by the Coal Ministry. The Ministry has also asked CIL to appoint mine developers to begin the production from the blocks at the earliest.

Both these blocks were allocated to the power PSU in January 2006 to be be jointly operated by a 50:50 joint venture between NTPC and CIL.

Last year, the Coal Ministry had cancelled the allotment of 14 coal blocks and one lignite block to six PSUs, including NTPC, and three private firms for failing to develop mines.

The decision followed recommendations by a Coal Ministry panel that reviewed progress made by steel, power, cement and other firms in developing 88 coal and lignite blocks allotted for captive use.

(This article was published on July 8, 2012)
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