New Delhi(PTI): Union Minister of State for Power and Coal (independent charge) Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said here that all the coal blocks in the country will become operational in the next couple of months.
“Soon after the (fresh) auction was over, I called a meeting of all the people who had won coal blocks… We discussed in detail what operational difficulties they have,” he said, addressing a press conference.
He had been asked why several coal blocks in the state, including some allotted in the latest auction, were idle. “We immediately set up a coal monitoring portal, in which all the allotees were asked to register and flag difficulties faced by them. Centre, through the coal ministry, is monitoring all these blocks and their difficulties,” he added. Some mines in the state had started operating, he said.
“During UPA I, Prime Minister’s Office had decided to allocate blocks through auction, but till 2014 no auction process was carried out. We took up auctioning procedure after SC cancelled over 200 allotted coal blocks. Our procedure is completely transparent,” Goyal said.
“Coal secretary would personally visit the states including Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh to review the position of each mine. In next couple of months all the mines will be operational,” he said.
About Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s recent visit to villages affected by coal mining in north Chhattisgarh, Goyal said, “I expected that when his party was in rule for last ten years, he would have visited people and realised their pain… His government (UPA) was busy allocating coal mines free of charge to their party MPs and well-wishers.”