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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Coal Ministry to focus strongly on bringing to production the coal mines that have been auctioned and allotted last year.
The direction has come against the backdrop of government targeting two-fold jump in coal production to 1.5 billion ton by 2020.
"The Prime Minister has asked the Coal Ministry that there should be a strong focus to start production from auctioned and alloted mines by tracking transfer of land, mining leases, clearances etc in coordination with state governments," a source privy to the development said.
Modi has also asked that work of three critical rail lines, including Tori Shivpur railway line in Jharkhand, 15 siding projects, linkage rationalisation plan and new asheries should be monitored closely for commissioning as per the schedule, the source said.
Coal Secretary Anil Swarup, last month, said that as many as 15 more coal mines that were auctioned last year would begin production by March 31, taking the number of total producing mines to 23.
Swarup had said that eight of the mines have already come in production.
The government, last year, auctioned 31 coal mines in three tranches and made an allotment of 42 coal blocks to central or state government companies.
However, the government had to annul the process for the fourth round of coal block auction, scheduled in January, due to poor response from bidders in sectors like steel as well as depressed commodity prices and adverse market conditions.
Now, the government plans to initiate fourth round of auction as and when market condition improves
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