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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

HC questions import of costly coal despite domestic stock

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 12, 2013
First Published: 01:14 IST(12/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:15 IST(12/1/2013)

Why is the state power generation company, Mahagenco, importing expensive coal despite the availability of adequate domestic coal, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court asked on Friday.

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Anil Wadpalliwar had filed a public interest litigation blaming the ongoing tussle between the company and subsidiaries of Coal India Limited (CIL) for the import of expensive coal worth Rs. 7,000 crore, which in turn is leading to tariff hikes.

The court on Friday issued notices to Mahagenco, state power distribution company Mahavitaran, Union coal ministry, CIL and its subsidiaries Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) and South Eastern Coal Limited (SECL), asking them to explain their stand within four weeks.

The court also sought the appointment of an independent regulator that would resolve the tussle between public sector undertakings, ensure timely supply of quality coal to state power utilities, reduce pollution and bring down the cost of power in coal-rich regions such as Vidarbha.

Wadpalliwar said that he had submitted a detailed memorandum to the chief minister, deputy chief minister, union power minister and coal minister seeking the resolution of the issue.

He has also submitted a detailed communication on the issue to the managing director of Mahagenco and the chief managing director of the WCL. While admitting to the problem, in their response, both the officials have accused each other of violating the agreement.

The companies refused to speak before submitting their response in the court.

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