The coal ministry took away 40 blocks that had been allotted and "explored in detail" by Coal India Limited (CIL), a PSU, so they could be handed over to private parties, a CAG report has said.
These 40 came from a chunk of 48 blocks de-reserved from CIL's kitty in May 2006. As of June 2011, of the 48 blocks , nine blocks remained unallocated, three were de-allocated after allocation, nine blocks were yet to commence production, and in the balance 27 blocks, normative production schedules were slated from July 2011 to April 2014.
The decision to de-reserve the blocks was taken in February 2006 by the Energy Coordination Committee (ECC), which decided that of the 289 (229 explored and 60 unexplored) blocks reserved for CIL, some of the 79 coal blocks that were already explored in detail should also be available to others for mining.
In 2004, CIL carried out an exercise and identified these 289 additional blocks for maintaining the production at the XI Plan level up to 2036-37.
"While CIL had to relinquish these coal blocks, no production materialised from them. Thus the expectation of early realisation of coal reserves by de-reservation of coal blocks from CIL and reallocation of the same to other parties remained unfulfilled," the report said.