Pondicherry to lose coal block?

PIPDIC faces de-allocation threat due to delay in executing the project

Published: 12th May 2012 12:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2012 10:21 PM   |  A+A-

PUDUCHERRY: Five years after the Ministry of Coal and Mines allotted the Naini Coal Block in Odisha to Pondicherry Industrial Promotion Development and Investment Corporation (PIPDIC) and Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC), Ahmedabad, for coal production, the two bodies currently face the threat of de-allocation due to inordinate delay in executing the project.

The coal block was allotted to the two firms in July 2007 on condition that the captive production of 500 million tones from the block would begin within three years.

The Ministry issued show cause notices on May 2 to both GMDC and PIPDIC after it noticed that no serious efforts were made by them to develop the block even after repeated assurances tendered by the companies.

The notice, put up on the Ministry of Coal and Mines website, noted that all critical milestones, including grant of previous approval, mining plan, environment management plan (EMP), mining lease, forest clearance and land  acquisition, were pending.

“The company (PIPDIC) repeatedly failed to keep promises made to the Ministry and is thus  not serious about the timely development of the block,” the show cause  notice served on PIPDIC said.

The schedule of end-use projects of GMDC and PIPDIC were yet to be notified to the Ministry.

The submission of mining plan as well as mining lease application had lapsed by over two years and land acquisition by over 10 months. The application for forest clearance  and EMP were pending for over a year and a half.

The ministry has given 20 days to the firms to respond explaining why the delay should not be held as violation of the terms and conditions. Sources in PIPDIC said that the company would respond to the notice by detailing what all have been done during the period.

After the allocation of the mine, both GMDC and PIPDIC had jointly floated the Naini Coal Company.

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