New Delhi: The Prime Minister's Officer has asked the Coal Ministry to monitor closely the process of allotment and auction of coal mines to ensure that there is no disruption in the production of dry fuel.
It has also asked the ministry to prepare a perspective plan to step up the domestic coal output to meet the growing demand for the fossil fuel.
PMO has recently asked the ministry that "the ongoing process for allotment and auction of coal blocks may be closely monitored to ensure that there is no disruption in production", said an official.
Besides, expressing concerns that the three critical rail links were behind schedule, the PMO was of the view that the lines need to be expedited in close coordination with the concerned states.
"There should be a joint meeting of security agencies, state governments and the Railways to ensure safety in the construction of these lines," the PMO said.
Three rail corridors are: Tori-Shivpuri-Kathotia in North Karanpura, Jharkhand; Bhupdeopur-Korichhaapar to Mand Raigadh mines in Chhattisgarh; and Barpali-Jharsuguda in IB Valley, Odisha.
The Supreme Court had in September last year scrapped the allocation of 204 out of 218 coal blocks to various companies since 1993 terming it as "fatally flawed".
The Union Cabinet later approved re-promulgation of the coal ordinance and necessary guidelines for mine allocations.
The government had on December 25, kick-started the auction process for coal mines that were deallocated by the Supreme Court. The much-awaited auction of coal blocks is likely to begin next month.
In the schedule II mines (in production) category 23 blocks will be auctioned and in the schedule III blocks list (ready to produce) 23 blocks will be put up for offer.