Economy

Coal Ministry asks Reliance Power to stop mining at Sasan project blocks

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

The Coal Ministry has asked Reliance Power to stop mining at coal blocks attached to the company’s Sasan ultra mega power project (UMPP) till transfer of land ownership is completed.

A senior Ministry official told Business Line that the a notice has been issued to Reliance Power to ‘immediately stop mining at Moher and Moher-Amlohri blocks if the company is using land that is yet to be legally transferred to the firm.’

The Moher and Moher-Amlohri blocks, given to the UMPP, are surrounded by land notified by Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL), according to the Coal Bearing Act. A part of these lands is to be ‘legally transferred’ to Sasan Power Limited (SPL), the Reliance Power company that operates the UMPP.

“The official process of transferring land use rights to the UMPP from Northern Coalfields is under way and yet to be completed,” said the Coal Ministry official.

The Ministry has taken the step after NCL informed it that SPL has started ‘using the land even when the legal transfer of land is awaited.’ SPL has started clearing the area and using heavy earth-moving machinery on the land.

“There has been no interruption to coal production. We have responded to the communication received from Ministry and the issue regarding the land being used for overburden dump and infrastructure, on the non-coal bearing areas, has been resolved,” said a Reliance Power spokesperson.

The official said the Ministry had received a reply from Reliance Power. “We are verifying the facts with NCL and the local District administration. We need to know the exact ground report before taking further steps,” he added.

In its reply to the Ministry notice, Reliance Power has cited the outcome of the October 17, 2011 meeting, where it was ‘decided and agreed’ between all stakeholders that non-coal bearing areas would be transferred to the UMPP. NCL has given its no-objection to the proposal, Reliance Power said.

Reliance Power, in its reply, said: “For the portion of private land over which Northern Coalfields has raised objection, same has been notified for objection by SPL under Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Northern Coalfields raised its objection only at the last stage when land was being handed over to SPL by the District Collector.”

On September 3, Reliance Power announced production of coal at the Sasan mines. “There will be annual production of 20 million tonnes from the Moher and Moher-Amlohri coal mines associated with the Sasan project,” it had said.

> siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on October 08, 2012

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