NEW DELHI: The Jharkhand government has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Central government's decision to unveil the process for the virtual auction of coal blocks for commercial mining.
Jharkhand Advocate General Rajiv Ranjan said that the state government moved a writ petition in the apex court on Friday contending that the decision to auction the coal blocks, some of which are in Jharkhand, will not benefit the state in the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
The state will incur a loss as it would not fetch the market price, says the plea, according to Ranjan. He said that a proper assessment related to the adverse impact on a huge tribal population and forests has not been done and added that a detailed study covering all aspects of the decision is required.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Modi had launched the auction of 41 coal mines for commercial mining and reiterated his call for India to become self-reliant in energy by reducing imports.
This comes as despite having the world's fourth-largest coal reserves and being the second-largest producer, the country is the second-largest importer of coal.
The rollout of commercial coal mining is part of the series of announcements made by the Centre under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It is expected to boost private sector participation which will, in turn, lead to higher production and enhance competition.