‘Coal mines to states will have to be regularly monitored'
New Delhi: The government Monday said states being allotted coal blocks for mining will have to introduce a mechanism for regular monitoring of mines and submit to it quarterly reports on the status of their development.
"The concerned State Government shall institute a mechanism, including regular physical inspections, to ensure regular monitoring of development of the coal blocks as per the milestones and submit quarterly reports to the Ministry of Coal or an agency authorised by it," according to an official Memorandum.
"This shall be in addition to any monitoring/inspection by the Ministry of Coal or an agency authorised by it," said the memorandum describing the draft terms and conditions for allocation of area containing coal to government companies for mining and specified end use.
The move is a step towards tightening the norms on the firms that sit idle on the coal blocks allocated to them for captive use.
Till now the government has allocated 218 captive coal blocks to different public and private sector companies. Of these, only 30 mines have begun production, according to an official statement.
The coal production from mines allocated to public and private companies for captive use was 16 million tonnes till August in this fiscal, the government said.
The production from captive coal mines was at 36 million tonnes (MT) in the last financial year, the statement said.
Coming down heavily on the companies not developing the captive mines allocated to them, the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) this year recommended deallocation of 13 coal blocks alloted to private firms. It also recommended deduction of Bank Guarantee (BG) in the cases of 14 blocks, according to an official statement.
And in case of one coal block, the panel recommended imposition of BG, the statement said.
In case of public sector firms, the IMG recommended deallocation of 11 blocks, deduction of BG in five cases, imposition of BG in 11 cases and no action in 6 cases.