Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Power has filed a writ petition before the Delhi High Court challenging the government’s decision to withdraw one of the three mines allocated to its Madhya Pradesh-based Sasan ultra mega power plant (UMPP). The government had also taken away the company’s right to mine excess coal from the remaining two mines, the company informed the BSE on Thursday.
In 2010, Reliance Power was allowed to use a maximum of 9 million tonne per annum(mtpa) of excess coal for its 3,960 mw coal-based power project in Chitrangi in Madhya Pradesh. Of the 9 mtpa, 4 mtpa of excess coal was to come from Moher and Moher-Amlohri coal blocks while the rest was to be supplied from the Chhatrasal block.
Coal ministry officials say withdrawal of the excess mine from the Sasan UMPP was prompted by the Supreme Court’s order that forbade diversion of excess coal from mines meant for UMPPs to other projects.
“The government has reconsidered the issue keeping in view the (Supreme Court) judgment dated September 25, 2014, and other connected matters and has decided to de-allocate Chhatrasal coal block and thus hereby withdraws/cancels the allocation of Chhatrasal Coal Block in favour of M/s. Sasan Power,” the coal ministry said in a gazette notification issued on May 7 this year. Subsequent to the withdrawal, the ministry had asked Reliance Power to submit a revised mining plan for the remaining blocks.
According to sources, Reliance Power’s petition is based on the contention that the Supreme Court order, relied on by the government to withdraw the block, did not concern coal blocks allocated to the UMPPs.