SAIL seeks surface rights of BCCL's mine in Jharkhand

Tags: SAIL, Industry
Steel Authority of India Ltd has requested the government to direct CIL arm Bharat Coking Coal to transfer the surface rights of its coal mine in Jharkhand to the steel PSU so that it can adhere to the committed schedule for development of the block by April next year.

Surface rights are the land owner's rights to the exterior or upper boundary of the land and other substances below it.

The development follows the Coal Ministry asking SAIL to deposit a bank guarantee of Rs 57 lakh for delays in the development of Sitanala mine.

"In order to enable SAIL to adhere to the committed schedule for development of the block, we request you to kindly direct BCCL (Bharat Coking Coal Limited) to transfer the surface right of Sitanala block," SAIL said in a letter to Joint Secretary in the Coal Ministry, Vivek Bhardwaj.

The PSU said in the letter that the coking coal block was allocated to SAIL for captive mining. During allocation, certain timelines were instructed for various actions to start commercial production of metallurgical coal from the mine.

Most of the actions like preparation of mine plan and its approval, obtaining environment clearance etc have been successfully completed by SAIL for starting commercial production from the block, it said.

"However, two activities -- grant of lease and transfer of land from BCCL to SAIL -- are under active consideration of Jharkhand government and BCCL, respectively," it added.

During the review meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group on coal block held in October last year, both the issues -- grant of lease and transfer of land from BCCL -- emerged as critical for development of the mine, it said.

In course of the review meeting, SAIL has reaffirmed its commitment to start commercial production from the block by April 2015, it added.

"As for the grant of lease, all requisite documents were prepared with the cooperation of BCCL and CIL (Coal India) and have been submitted to the Jharkhand state government; the proposal is likely to be forwarded shortly by Jharkhand to Ministry of Coal for approval," it said.

"During discussion with BCCL authorities for transfer of land to SAIL, it has emerged that the transfer of surface rights of Sitanala block to SAIL can take place only on a directive from the Ministry of Coal," it added.

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