Day 2: Jharkhand coal block auction put off

New Delhi:  The government today deferred the auction of Chitarpur coal mine in Jharkhand due to a court case.The mine was scheduled for auction today with companies like Hindalco, JSPL and Vedanta in the fray
day 2 jharkhand coal block auction put off -...
PTI August 12, 2015 14:35 IST

New Delhi:  The government today deferred the auction of Chitarpur coal mine in Jharkhand due to a court case.

The mine was scheduled for auction today with companies like Hindalco, JSPL and Vedanta in the fray after qualifying the technical bidding.

Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said there is no auction today “as the court has stayed the proceedings”.  “Consequent to hearing dated August 11, 2015 in writ petition © 7630/2015 (Kolkata Glass and Ceramics Pvt vs UOI) before the High Court of Delhi, the schedule for e-auction of Chitarpur coal mine shall be announced at a later date,” the government said.

Parbatpur Central mine in Jharkhand is off the auction list as “it's a gassy mine”.

“Parbatpur central mine would not be auctioned as it is a gassy mine and therefore, we have got a representation that it should be withdrawn,” an official said. 

The official added that now there will be auction of only Majra mine in Maharashtra tomorrow. 

On the first day of the sale of mines yesterday, the government auctioned two blocks in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, which fetched Rs 2,529 crore. 

Crest Steel and Power Pvt Ltd, a Topworth Group entity, emerged as the highest bidder for Bhaskarpara mine in Chhattisgarh that fetched the government Rs 1,817 crore. 

The group's arm Topworth Urja & Metals also emerged as the highest bidder for Marki Mangli-I mine in Maharashtra.  Marki Mangli-I mine went for Rs 712 crore. 

Bhaskarpara mine was earlier jointly alloted to Electrotherm (India) and Grasim Industries. 

Those vying for the coal block included JSPL and Godawari Natural Resources.

“Topworth Urja and Metal highest bidder at (Rs) 715 (per tonne) for Marki Mangli 1 coal block,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup had said in a tweet.

The government had earlier said it will auction 10 coal mines for steel, cement and captive power plants.

This year, the government had auctioned 29 coal blocks in two tranches to private companies and garnered over Rs 2 lakh crore, surpassing CAG's loss estimate of Rs 1.86 lakh crore in allotment of mines earlier without auction. 

The Supreme Court in September last year had cancelled allocation of 204 coal mines to companies without auction.

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