Chavan bent rules to give coal blocks to private companies: BJP

Sep 25, 2012 19:33 IST

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Mumbai: Opposition BJP today alleged that former chief minister Ashok Chavan transferred four coal blocks initially allocated to the Maharashtra State Mineral Corporation (MSMC) by the Centre to private players in contravention of rules.

"Maharashtra Government had procured seven coal blocks from the Central government. While the state government retained three coal blocks for power generation, other four blocks were transferred to Maharashtra State Mineral Corporation (MSMC), which were subsequently allocated to private players," BJP secretary Kirit Somaiya told a press conference.

Ashok Chavan.

Somaiya alleged that Chavan after becoming chief minister post the 26/11 attacks in 2008, separated the Mining Portfolio from the Ministry of Industries and retained it with him.

The senior BJP leader also alleged that Chavan "unilaterally" brought down the mandatory advance fee supposed to be paid by the private players from 50 percent to 10 percent of the mining lease amount.

"This scam amounts to the tune of Rs 375 crore. Chavan had recommended allocating two coal blocks to Gupta Steel against whom the Centre had already filed an FIR," Somaiya said.

Somaiya said the Ashok Chavan government allocated four coal blocks---at Adkoli in Yavatmal district, at Varora in Chandrapur district--in Maharashtra--at Gare Pama in Chhattisgarh and at Azarzari to as many private companies.

Chavan had last week refuted the allegations of his involvement in any allotment saying the state government's role was limited to making recommendations.

PTI