"You are hereby called upon to show cause, on each milestone separately to this ministry...as to why delay in the development of the coal block(s) should not be held as violation of terms and conditions of the allocation...and why the block should not be deallocated," the coal ministry said in show-cause notice letter to firms.
The ministry further said that if the companies fail to give reasons for the delays, "it would be presumed that the company has no explanation to offer and action as appropriate would be taken against your company(ies) for deallocation".
The eight companies issued show-cause notices include Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, Hindalco Industries, Neyveli Lignite Corp for Talbira II and III coal blocks. In the case of the Talabira coal block in Odisha, CBI had in October lodged a case against industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and former Coal Secretary P C Parekh for alleged irregularities in allocation of mine eight years back.
The notice has also been issued to Ispat Godavari Ltd, Ind-Agro Synergy Ltd, Nakoda Ispat, Vandana Global, Shree Bajrang Power & Ispat Ltd for delaying the production from Nakia I & II coal blocks.
In letters to five firms -- JSW Steel Ltd, Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd, Jaibalaji Industries, Tata Steel and Power Finance Corp -- the coal ministry said "You are hereby called upon to explain...the reasons for slow progress as well as the efforts made by you in development of coal block (s) failing which it would be presumed that your company(ies) has no explanation to offer and action as appropriate would be taken."
The ministry sought explanation from JSW Steel Ltd, Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd, Jaibalaji Industries for slow progress in respect of Rohne coal block, Tata Steel for Kotre-Basantpur and Pachmo coal blocks and Power Finance Corp for Meenakshi, Meenakshi and Dipside Meenakshi coal blocks.