The Delhi High Court has suggested a steel company to consider depositing three months’ holding charges with Coal India Ltd (CIL) towards safety and security of 78,000 metric tonne of coal rejects left behind by it at a mine in Jharkhand.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher said Electrosteel Castings Ltd (ESCL) can deposit the holding cost, which CIL has tentatively set at Rs 15 lakh per month, for three months and meanwhile, the state-run enterprise will make all endeavours to sell the rejects left behind by the company at the Parbatpur mine.
If CIL, which is the custodian of the mine, is unable to do so in the given period, then the company can remove them from the land and sell them, the court said.
CIL is custodian of the mine as it was taken off the auction block as only one company showed interest in bidding for the block. The court asked the lawyers appearing for ESCL to inform it about their decision on the next date of hearing on April 13.
It was hearing a plea by ESCL seeking six months time to remove the coal rejects left by the company at the mine, which was earlier alloted to it.
Coal rejects are obtained after the mineral is washed in a washery unit for removing the impurities. ESCL alleged the stock of rejects had accumulated as the government “sat on” its request for permission to sell them for over six months.
Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, appearing for coal ministry, opposed the company’s plea for time and said ESCL should have removed the rejects by April 8 according to the March 26 order.
After the Supreme Court cancelled around 204 coal blocks allocated to various companies, the entities that were operating their mines were to remove the stock of mineral and rejects by March 31, the last date till when they could run the mines.
Thereafter, the government on March 26, had extended to April 8 the time for removal of the stock