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SC to decide fate of 194 coal blocks tomorrow

The much awaited Supreme Court verdict on the fate of 194 coal blocks allotted over past two decades will be out tomorrow.

The court had declared illegal the allocation of these blocks as illegal in a ruling on August 25.

Giving a way ahead to the sector, the verdict will clear the cloud on whether these blocks would be re-allocated or let off the hook with penalty.

Allied industries, power, cement and metals have filed performas with the government requesting 40 operational coal blocks and 6 about to produce coal blocks to be spared from cancellation.

Mineral rich states such as Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh etc have written to the centre, requesting them not to consider re-allocation of coal block in their suggestions to the honourable court, as it would lead to escalation in the cost of mining.

As the stakeholders, from power project developers, cement companies to bank and financial institutions; wait with bated breath, Rs 2 lakh worth of investments is at stake.

Out of 216 coal block allocations under the scanner, 105 allocations were made to private companies, 99 allocations were made to Government companies and 12 allocations were made to Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs) and that after adjusting 24 de-allocations and 2 re-allocations, a total number of 194 allocations, including allocations to private parties form the subject matter of the writ petition.

The Supreme Court on August 25 held allocation of captive coal blocks by the Union government between 1993 and 2010 as illegal under the Coal Mining Nationalisation Act. It also questioned the modus operandi of the screening committee in granting coal blocks and mining licences.

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