Coal Ministry officials, state governments in Jharkhand, Odisha, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and even the Screening Committee are allegedly hand in glove with the fly by night operators. The loot of black gold allegedly took place at a time when the Coal Ministry was directly under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The irregularities have been found in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Rajasthan. The total number of companies under investigation is 25, but it could go up to 32.
CBI sources say that instead of stopping auction after delays, the Coal Ministry and the Screening Committee allotted more mines at frantic speed. Moreover, no due diligence was done by the state governments.
Sources say that the mines were allotted to influential people with no experience in the sector and the CBI is investigating how there was no due diligence even after projects had been delayed
They add that the companies, who have been allotted mines, could be planning to sell the mines at huge profits after getting contracts.
Companies being investigated and the allegations against them:
Pushp Steel and Mining: The company has been granted the licence despite having no experience or money. The CBI is probing the role of bureaucrats. The date has been left blank in the application and the company has not file the Income Tax affidavit.
Vimmi Iron and Steel Udyog: The Coal blocks were allegedly allotted under influence of the then chief minister.
GVK Powers: The role of local administration and state government in recommending the company is being investigated.
Rungta Projects: The have been delays and no development.
DB Powers: The project is not ready and preparedness was not checked by the local government.
NSL Powers and Infratech Ltd: The company is not serious about developing the coal block. The role of local administration and company executives is being investigated.
Visa Power: The project has been delayed and the company was recommended on the basis of wrong information.
SKS Ispat: No initiative has been taken to develop the project.
Sources say, this could be a drop in the ocean, nearly 30 companies in total may eventually have the CBI knocking on their doors.