The coal ministry has decided to assign the Brahmani, Chichro Pastimal and East Damagoria coal blocks to Coal India Limited (CIL) for undertaking mining on priority basis through the mining development and operation (MDO) system. Brahmani coal block with reserves of 1900 million tonnes and Chichro Pastimal coal block with reserves of 356 million tonnes were earlier allocated to NTPC. However, the coal blocks were later de-allocated in May last year due to unsatisfactory performance by the utility in developing these blocks.
NTPC had requested for re-allocation for the blocks, which also had recommendation of the power ministry. Power Minister had requested the coal ministry in August last year to review its decision regarding the de-allocation of blocks to NTPC. He had mentioned that de-allocating the blocks will render futile whatever expenditure has been made by the utility in developing the blocks. However, in the recent meeting to review the de-allocated blocks it was decided that CIL will be assigned these blocks.
CIL will also be developing the East Damagoria coal block with estimated reserves of 337 million tonnes. The coal block was earlier allocated to West Bengal Power Development Corporation but the utility itself surrendered the block in October last year. The coal ministry has de-allocated a total of 25 coal blocks so far out of 218 coal blocks allocated to public sector as well as private companies. Out of these 25 coal blocks, two coal blocks have been re-allocated. Final decision on the remaining blocks is yet to be taken by the ministry.