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Coal India arm under scanner for production beyond approved limits

Author: IANS/Tuesday, March 27, 2018/Categories: Oil & Gas

Coal India arm under scanner for production beyond approved limits

Kolkata - Coal India said that demand notices amounting to Rs 8,297.77 crore were received for 17 projects of its subsidiary firm, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), for production beyond approved limits for the period between 2000-01 and 2010-11.

The miner's subsidiary has already pleaded for exclusion from the demand on "valid legal grounds".

"Demand notices totalling to Rs 8,297.77 crore have been sent by Deputy Director Mines (DDM) Rourkela, Sambalpur and Talcher circles in respect of 17 projects of MCL (Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd) on March 6 and 7, 2018," the miner said in a regulatory filing.

The demand notices were received from Deputy Director Mines "not for illegal mining" but for "coal production beyond the environment clearance (EC) capacity" for the period between 2000-01 to 2010-11.

Following the Supreme Court's order on August 2, 2017, imposing 100 per cent penalty on mining lease holders operating without necessary clearances in Odisha, the show-cause notices were issued by the DDM of Rourkela, Sambalpur and Talcher circles with regard to 24 coal mining projects of MCL.

The authority asked the miner "why a compensation amount totalling to Rs 20,169 crore in respect of the 24 projects should not be levied for production beyond approved EC/ mining plan/ CTO" and sought the reply to the show-cause by November 30, 2017.

"On December 7, 2017, mine-specific hearing was held wherein it was pleaded from MCL side that the judgement of honourable Supreme Court dated August 2, 2017, is applicable only to iron ore/manganese ore leases and not to coal, along with valid arguments," the miner said in a regulatory filing.

According to the filing, as the bauxite mines were excluded from the demand notice by the apex court during a subsequent judgment, "it was pleaded that coal mines should also be excluded", by the same principle.

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