KCR not at the helm; centre pushes for mineral blocks auction in Telangana

The central government has directed Telangana to expedite the auction of mineral mines. The Union Ministry of Mines has set a June 31 as deadline for the completion of the process.

It should be noted that the previous BRS government, under the leadership of KCR, did not permit the auctioning of any mineral blocks in the state over the last ten years. With the change of regime, the Telangana government has now been asked to auction at least six blocks from a list of 11. Failure to do so will result in the central government taking over the process.

Union Coal and Mines Minister Kishan Reddy chaired a key meeting on Saturday, where discussions centered on the status of mining blocks in Telangana. The meeting examined the reasons behind the prolonged delay in the auction. Despite multiple letters from the central government, the BRS government had not allowed the auction.

In a recent letter, the central government reiterated its demand, including geological reports for eleven blocks: five iron ore, five limestone, and one manganese. The central authorities warned that they will intervene if the state does not comply.

The auction process, initiated in 2015, saw a rule revision in 2021 stipulating that if a state fails to auction mines within a set timeframe, the central government can assume responsibility. Since the implementation of the Mining Act (Auction System), 354 major mineral blocks have been auctioned nationally.

Proposals have been sent to the Telangana state government, and Chief Minister Revanth Reddy is expected to commence the auction process upon approval. The winning bidders will receive 30-year leases for the mineral blocks.