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Centre withdraws coal mine auction in delta region

Centre withdraws coal mine auction in delta region

The union government on Saturday made an announcement regarding the withdrawal of notification on coal mine auction in protected agriculture zone in the state.Taking to Twitter, union minister for Parliamentary affairs, coal and mines Pralhad Joshi said, In spirit of cooperative federalism and keeping in mind the interest of people of Tamil Nadu, I have directed to exclude three lignite mines from auction in the seventh tranche.

In a move to increase the availability of dry fuel in the country, the union government had earlier launched the seventh round of commercial coal auctions. It had included 106 coal mines in the round of auction. Of the total mines, 61 blocks were partially explored and the remaining were fully explored.

 Orathanadu in Thanjavur

These mines include 95 non-coking coal mines, one coking coal mine and 10 lignite mines. Of which, three mines were in the state – one each at Michealpatti near Udayarpalayam in Ariyalur, Sethiathoppu near Bhuvanagiri in Cuddalore and Vadacheri near Orathanadu in Thanjavur. All the three places fall in the protected agricultural zone of the state.  

Shortly after the notification was released, protests broke out in the state. Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to exclude the delta region from the coal bidding process in the region.  He also slammed the union government for not consulting the state government and announced his government would never grant permission to such an act.  A public interest motion was also passed in the assembly condemning the union government’s move.Now, the union government has announced the rollback of the notification.