Most coal mines auctioned earlier this year remain shut and thousands of workers jobless, said a prominent coal workers’ union.
The process of restarting work on the mines may take many more months, company executives added.
India auctioned 28 coal mines to companies in the power, steel and cement sectors and allotted 27 mines to government-run power firms between January and March. Most of the mines auctioned are so-called “producing” or “ready-to-produce” mines, out of more than 200 that were cancelled by the Supreme Court last year in a case challenging the way the blocks were allocated to private companies.
Analysts said these auctions, the first of a kind, will test the new coal policy that has so far seen companies bidding too high and issues on the ground where new owners are seeking to take over mines by the transfer of clearances and ownership.