'Odisha's coalblock re-allocation demand depends on committee'



Bhubaneswar: Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Monday said only a high level committee takes decision on re-allocation of certain coal blocks earlier given to the state Public Sector Undertakings (PSUS) and his Ministry alone cannot fulfil Odisha government's demand in this regard.

"We cannot do (re-allocate) that. A high level committee takes decision on deallocation of coal blocks based on their performances and progress. If state PSU's performance is poor, they may have been de-allocated," Jaiswal told reporters at the airport after arriving here on a two-day tour to the state.

Jaiswal also rejected Odisha Steel and Mines Minister R K Singh's statement alleging that the Centre de-allocated coal blocks of state PSUs as it was opposed to rapid industrialisation in the state.

"We are not opposed to industrial activities in Odisha. The state PSUs can get more coal blocks if they perform well," Jaiswal said.

Earlier, the Coal ministry had de-allocated five coal blocks in Talcher coalfield -- Utkal-D, Mandakini-B, Baitarani-W, Naini and New Patrapada blocks given to different state PSUs and private companies. These five coal blocks together have a reserve about 3,497 MT of coal.

The state PSUs which lost coal blocks for non- performance were: Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Odisha Hydro-Power Corporation (OHPC) and Odisha Thermal Power Corporation Limited (OTPCL).

The Centre de-allocated the five coal blocks after finding no progress even as more than three years had passed since they were allocated coal blocks.

PTI