ArcelorMittal-led consortium blames Orissa govt for delays

In fact, the consortium sought the Centre's intervention to expedite the multi-million dollar mining project.

In a recent letter to the Coal Ministry, the Rampia Coal Mine and Energy Private Ltd (RCMEPL) said it was unable to conduct drilling and other activities in the block as the state government is yet to grant the required regulatory clearances for development process of the coal block allocated in 2008.

Besides ArcelorMittal, the Rampia Coal Mine and Energy is jointly owned by Vedanta group firm Sterlite Energy, Essar Group-led Navbharat Power, GMR Energy, Lanco Group, Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group firm Reliance Energy.

"We would like to reiterate that despite sincere and best efforts of RCMEPL, as also after meeting the requirements of government of Orissa, the PL has not yet been granted by the state government," the consortium said in its letter.

Prospectivity Licence (PL) from the state government is among the necessary approvals to examine the availability and quantity of the coal reserves in the given area.

Saying that this situation is beyond its control, the company added, "such inordinate delay in granting PL and consequential chain of delays in undertaking drilling operations and adherence to Milestones etc. are entirely on the part of local administration and various state government departments."

Last week, the Coal Ministry had issued a showcause notice to the consortium for delays in development of Rampia and Dip side of the coal block. The Ministry, in its notice, had said the firm has repeatedly failed to keep its promises and is thus,non-serious about timely development of the block.

The government also said that if the consortium does not respond within 30 days of the issuance of showcause notice the block could be de-allocated. Sources said despite the consortium being in constant communication with the Coal Ministry on the development the notices were served.

Meanwhile, the ArcelorMittal led consortium said that "once the PL is granted, our project will be noticeable, to the entire satisfaction of all concerned."

Besides this, the company said that it is yet to get the forest clearance for the block, despite taking up the matter with various local and state authorities and it may further delay the project. "The process of getting the certificate by the District Collector would take lot of time and will delay the execution of the project," the consortium said.

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