Kolkata, Oct 12 (IANS) The government is in active discussions with various state governments to start work in the auctioned coal mines with only seven of the 74 operation so far, an official said here on Monday.
Off the 74 mines auctioned in the first three phases till August, 34 were already in an operational stage. However, post completion and subsequent allocation of these fossil fuel mines, only seven could be opened so far.
“This is a concern and the government is working on faster clearances for the mining projects,” S.K. Shahi, joint secretary in the coal ministry, said in an event organised by Mjunction Services.
He said primarily mutation and stamp duty issues besides environmental clearances were the causes of the delay in making the mines operational.
“Land and pollution related clearances are some of the causes of the delay. We are in talks with the state governments so that at least all the 34 mines which were operational before the auction can be opened at the earliest,” the official said.
In the last six months the environment and forestry ministry has cleared 18 projects of Coal India, the world’s largest coal miner.
Meanwhile, the central government is also considering issuing big mines of around 500 million tonne capacity for commercial mining which will improve competitiveness in the coal mining segment.
Presently, state-owned Coal India is the sole dominant player involved in mining of the fossil fuel in the country.