Centre attacks BJD govt in Odisha over coal blocks issue
Bhubaneswar: Attacking the BJD government in Odisha over coal blocks issue, the Centre today claimed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recommended allocation of a particular coal block to a private company which had earlier been allotted to another firm.
"While several Chief Ministers were active parties to coal allocations, Odisha Chief Minister had recommended allotment of a particular coal block to a private company. What personal interest he had?" questioned V Narayansami, Minister of State in the PMO.
He claimed that the same block, earlier allocated to another private company, was cancelled and "Naveen Patnaik recommended allocation of that particular coal block to Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL)."
Questioning the motive behind this move of Odisha government, Narayansami said the matter needs to be investigated and CBI, while enquiring into alleged corruption in coal allocation, will probe into it.
The minister maintained that allegations of irregularities in coal block allocations are being thoroughly investigated by CBI, and said action would be taken against all those found involved in wrong-doing in Odisha too.
Narayansami said the state`s recommendation for coal allocation to the private company had come after, it, through a letter to the Centre in 2005, had opposed auction mode for allocation of coal blocks.
Moreover, the BJD as well as BJP must remember that "chief secretaries of coal bearing states are members of the screening committee" which finalised coal block allocations, the Union Minister said adding the states, therefore, were direct and active parties to coal allotments.
To a query, Narayansami said the Centre had to honour and accept the recommendations made by the state as without the support and cooperation of them no mining activities can be undertaken.
"Without state`s support in infrastructure, road and other facilities, the Centre cannot ensure smooth mining operation," he said.
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