THE MADHYA Pradesh Government has requested the Union Government to keep in abeyance the allotment of two coal blocks of Madhya Pradesh to companies situated in Chhattisgarh. The issue could snowball into a major controversy between the two states.
Since both the states are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the request made by the MP Minister for Mineral Resources Laxmikant Sharma to the Union Government may create some bitterness between the two states.
In a letter to Union Minister of State for Coal, Dasari Narayan Rao, Sharma urged him to keep in abeyance the allotment of Brahmapuri and Rawanara coal blocks and allot the blocks in consultation with the Madhya Pradesh Government.
In his letter, a copy of which is in possession of the Hindustan Times, Sharma said, “We have received the minutes of the meeting of the Screening Committee held on September 22, 2006 under which the Committee has recommended the allotment of various coal blocks, including Brahmapuri and Rawanara blocks situated in Madhya Pradesh”.
Sharma said that the companies propose to use the coal obtained from MP for their end-use plants outside the State. “This will certainly not be in the interest of Madhya Pradesh, as the end-use plants will be outside State whereas the coal reserve from our State will be exploited,” the minister said.
Sharma pointed out that the recommendations of the Screening Committee are not in conformity with the recommendations of the (MP) State Government in this matter. “We have already written to the Secretary, Ministry of Coal, in September 2003 to consider our views in the matter before making final allotment,” he said in the letter.
Sharma also brought to the notice of the Union Minister the fact that some companies like Ind Synergy and BLA etc approached the State Government for allocation of coal blocks. “The advantage to the State would be that end-use plants would be set up by these companies within the State,” he reasoned.