Industries development corporation to apply to Centre for allocation of coal block

  • | Friday | 9th November, 2018

PANAJI: Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) proposes to make a fresh attempt for coal blocks and is in the process of applying to the Union ministry of coal seeking allocation of a coal block, outside Goa, under the government route or captive route. The coal from these blocks shall be utilized for generation of power for industries in the state, GIDC officials said.According to GIDC officials, the Union ministry wrote to the state government a few months ago informing that new coal blocks were in the process of being allocated to states and state government corporations.This July, the coal ministry issued directions to allocate 27 more coal mines including two coal mines for state governments or state-run corporations.“GIDC has written for allocation of coal blocks,” said a senior official and then added that the decision had been taken at a board meeting two months earlier.An earlier attempt to source coal and then supply it to a private power company failed miserably in 2014 when the Supreme Court quashed the allocation of the Gare Pelma sector-III coal block in Chattishgarh, along with many others on the grounds that the allocations were done in an arbitrary, non-transparent manner and were against public interest.The block, which was allotted on November 12, 2008, was supposed to take care of the state’s power needs – both domestic and industrial – for five to 10 years.GIDC was supposed to supply the coal to KSK Mahanadi Power Company for its 1,800 MW capacity power plant, of which Goa was to get 270 MW while the Chattisgarh government was supposed to get 37.5 MW, since the coal block is located there.The Supreme Court’s decision to cancel the allocation poured cold water on GIDC’s dreams which had to relinquish the Gare Pelma sector-III coal block.In January this year, the NDA-led government at the Centre allotted 11 large coal blocks to three Coal India Limited (CIL) subsidiaries, including five blocks which were de-allocated by the Supreme Court in 2014.In 2016, then minister for mines, Piyush Goyal, had announced that allocation of new coal blocks will be made as per norms specified under the Coal Mines Special Provision Act, 2015, and the Mines and Mineral (Development & Regulations) Act, 1957.

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