CIL taking steps to restart mining of Gare Palma IV/1 block

State-owned CIL, the designated custodian for Gare Palma IV/1 coal mine in Chhattisgarh, has taken steps to restart mining work in the block, Parliament has been informed.

Balco, part of Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd, in the coal block auction earlier this year had emerged as the highest bidder for the coal mine.

The government had however rejected its bid and appointed Coal India Ltd (CIL) as the designated custodian for the mine.

"Government of Chhattisgarh had requested the Central Government to issue directions to Coal India Ltd to start mining operations in Gare Palma IV/1 coal mine at the earliest," Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply. The minister further said CIL has "taken steps to restart mining work at Gare Palma IV/1 coal mine. A tender for removing overburden and associated works has been issued on September 14, 2015 and approval of the board of directors obtained thereon November 30, 2015".

CIL is designated Custodian for six mines -- MarkiMangli-II (Maharashtra), NamchikNamphuk (Arunachal Pradesh), Gare Palma IV-1 (Chhattisgarh), Gotitoria (East) and Gotitoria (West) in Madhya Pradesh and Parbatpur (Central) in Jharkhand – as auction and allotment of these blocks could not be completed before the appointed date, he said.

Of the above six coal mines, Goyal said, process of auction was not completed or re-initiated for Gare Palma IV/1, Gotitoria (East) and Gotitoria (West) because the matters are sub-judice.

"Additionally Coal India was appointed custodian akin to designated custodian for Gare Palma IV/2 and Gare Palma IV/3 coal mines by Delhi High Court...And the matter is sub-judice," Goyal said.

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