Legal war over, WBPDCL to begin coal mining ops by Dec

Kolkata: The West Bengal Power Development Corporation Ltd (WBPDCL), the state generation utility, could well be among first state-owned generation utility in India to start mining operations following reallocation of coal blocks last year. It is hoping to start mining operations from December as the state utility has won legal battles against the erstwhile mining development operator (MDO), Emta, last week. Emta Group went to court against the fresh auction of coal blocks reallocated to WBPDCL.

A state government official said the state power utility has cleared the legal hurdles for three blocks last week. These are: Tara (East &West), Gangaramchak and Borjora. Earlier in May, WBPDCL won the legal battle for two blocks Borjora North and Panchwara (north) and subsequently appointed MDOs for these blocks. Ahmedabad-based Monte Carlo has been selected as MDO for Borjora North while for Panchwara (North), it was NCC BGR. BGR Infra is based in Hyderabad while NCC is a Rajasthan-based company.

“Now, the company will start the tender process to select MDOs for rest of the blocks. The reverse bidding process will start in a week. Karnataka and Punjab are still fighting legal battles with Emta regarding selection of MDOs in reallocated blocks. Only West Bengal has cleared the hurdles,” an official added.

When contacted, WBPDCL chairman Santanu Basu confirmed the development. “We shall start the reverse bidding process soon for the rest of the mines,” he added.

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