The inter-ministerial group (IMG) formed to decide on the deallocation of coal blocks on Tuesday gave respite to Essar Power, DB Power and Hindalco on the issue of delay in development of their captive coal mines.
The IMG cleared the Mahan coal block in Madhya Pradesh, which is jointly held by Essar Power and Hindalco Industries, while DB Power was allocated Durgapur II-Sarya mine in Chhattisgarh.
According to a source in the Ministry of Coal, the IMG has also decided to give nine months time to other 10 companies holding eight coal blocks to seek Stage-2 environment clearance to avoid the axe.
These companies include Jayaswal Neco, Tata Steel, Adhunik Thermal Energy, Abhijeet Infrastructure, Usha Martin, Nilachal Iron and Power, Bajrang Ispat, JSW and Bhushan Power and Steel.
The Supreme Court had asked the Centre to explain the delays in the development of coal blocks. The coal ministry had on January 15 served a three-week ultimatum to the companies sitting on the 61 blocks where mining leases have not been executed to furnish the proof of the requisite clearances obtained by them to operationalise their captive mines.
Earlier this month, the government had decided to take away blocks awarded to nearly 50 companies including Adani Power, Tata Group, Rungta Mines, Arcelor Mittal, Lanco, Hindalco, GMR and others.
Some of the companies including Monnet Ispat and Tata Asol have decided to move Delhi High Court against the government's decision to cancel their coal blocks.