Bhubaneswar: Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Convenor Bhartuhari Mahtab on Saturday alleged coal blocks were allocated to different companies without consulting the states concerned. "The Centre allocated coal blocks arbitrarily without consulting the coal-bearing states," Mahtab said after reviewing coal block allocations in Odisha.
Mahtab, a BJD MP, claimed PAC came to know that while the state government recommended one coal block in favour of one company, the Centre allocated the same coal block to three different parties. "Therefore, the coal blocks could not be developed at an appropriate time due to lack of coordination among different parties," Mahtab said after holding discussions with the state government and the Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) officials in Bhubaneswar.
Though PAC chairman and senior BJP MP Murli Manohar Joshi was absent, MPs from Congress, CPI, Shiv Sena, CPI-M and TMC attended the review meeting at a hotel in Bhubaneswar. During the review, Mahtab said PAC wanted to understand the state government's view on coal block allocation. "PAC also wanted to know from the government whether the Centre had taken states into confidence during allocation of coal blocks and whether the Prime Minister had responded to the Chief Minister's concern over the matter," Mahtab said.
While extraction of coal was one of the major issues discussed at the PAC review meeting, Mahtab asked whether the state government had conveyed its views to the Centre on the matter.