KCR urges PM to stop auction of Singareni coal blocks

Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop auctioning of four coal blocks of Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) as proposed by the Union Coal Ministry.

Against the backdrop of all the workers’ unions of Singareni giving a call for a three-day strike from Thursday opposing the Union government’s move to auction four coal blocks, the Chief Minister wrote a letter to the Prime Minister requesting him to stop the proposal.

In his letter, the CM stated that the Singareni Collieries Company is producing 65 million tonnes of coal every year and playing a key role in catering to the needs of thermal power plants in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

He said that after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the maximum demand for power in Telangana was 5,661 MW in 2014 and by March 2021, it went up to 13,688 MWs and it is essential to supply coal uninterruptedly for the generation of thermal power.

Based on the Singareni’s needs, the state government had issued several mining licences, which the Centre is aware of and the Union Coal Ministry also gave its green signal, the CM wrote and urged the Prime Minister to instruct the Coal Ministry to stop the auction of JBROC-3, Sravanpally OC, Koya Gudem OC-3 and KK-6 UG Block under its Trench 13, as it would adversely impact the needs under Singareni jurisdiction for coal. He also urged the PM to allocate these blocks to the Singareni Company.

Trade unions of the SCCL, affiliated to the five central trade unions INTUC, AITUC, CITU, HMS, and BMS have joined hands with the Telangana Boggu Gani Karmika Sangham (TBGKS) affiliated to ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to go on strike from Thursday.

The five trade unions have served notice on the management of state-owned SCCL to go on a 72-hour strike to press for a 12-point charter of demands.

The TBGKS has also sent a notice to the management to go on strike for a five-point charter of demands including removal of four coal blocks of the SCCL from the Coal Ministry’s list of commercial coal mine auctions.