Stop privatisation of coal blocks in Telangana, Uttam tells Centre in Lok Sabha

Uttam Kumar Reddy demanded that the Central Government stop the privatisation of four coal blocks in Telangana and allot the same to Singareni Colleries Company

Congress MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy

HYDERABAD: Congress MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Wednesday demanded that the Central Government stop the privatisation of four coal blocks in Telangana and allot the same to public sector company to Singareni Colleries Company Ltd (SCCL). Speaking about the same in the Lok Sabha the MP called it a 'matter of urgent public importance.'

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the people of Telangana were strongly objecting to the auction of four coal blocks- Kalyan Khani Block-6, Koyagudem Block-3, Sathupalli Block-6 and Shravanapalli. "These coal blocks were co-located with the existing coal mines of a 100-year-old public sector coal mining company SSCL." Singareni was a profit-making public sector mining company that has been registering profits continuously for the last 20 years, he added.

"In a very irrational and bizarre decision, the Government of India has announced the auction of the coal blocks adjacent to Singareni coal blocks. The SCCL now supplies coal to thermal power stations of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Instead of allocating these coal blocks to the SCCL, the Coal Ministry is putting them up for auction which is an irrational and objectional decision," said Uttam Kumar Reddy in the Lok Sabha.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Telangana last month, had promised that there would not be privatisation of coal blocks. However, he said that the Central Govt was going ahead with the auction. The Congress MP further demanded that the auction of coal blocks be cancelled and they be allotted to the public sector company SSCL.

"Union Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi, in his written reply, admitted that requests were received from the SCCL for the allocation of these coal blocks. However, with the decision of the Government to offer these blocks for auction for the sale of coal, applications of SCCL stand disposed of.

The Union Minister further informed that the auction for the above coal blocks was held by the Nominated Authority on December 15, 2021. "In respect of these 4 coal blocks, the Office of Nominated Authority has informed that no bid was received for Sattupalli Block-III, Shravanapalli and Kalyan Khani Block-6 and the auction has been annulled. These coal mines are again put up for auction," he added.

Speaking to media outside the Parliament, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Telangana Govt holds a 51 percent stake in the company while the Centre holds the rest. "Both BJP at the Centre and TRS in Telangana were damaging the SCCL, which provides direct and indirect employment to lakhs of people. The TRS Govt had privatised the Tadicherla coal mine in Karimnagar, owned by Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited, to a private company," he lamented.

The Congress MP alleged that the both BJP and TRS Governments were damaging the future of Telangana by sabotaging the prospects of SCCL which plays a crucial role in the State's economy.

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