NEW DELHI: The government will open bids received for commercial coal mining blocks on Wednesday as the Supreme Court refused to stay the auctions. Vedanta Group, Adani Group, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd and JSW Steel are among the companies believed to be eyeing the coal blocks with which India will open up the coal sector for commercial mining to private players.

People aware of the matter said the apex court refused the plea made by the Jharkhand government to stay the auction process. Tuesday is the last day for submission of bids while the bid opening is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

The coal ministry said on Monday that 278 tender documents were purchased by prospective bidders for the 38 coal blocks on auction. “In the present tranche of coal block auctions, 278 tender documents have been purchased by the prospective bidders in respect of 38 coal mines. The nominated authority will receive the bids till 2 pm on September 29 and bid opening will be taken up at 10 am on September 30, 2020,” said an official statement.

Earlier, the coal ministry had revised the list of mines to 38 blocks from 41 mines announced earlier following opposition from the Chhattisgarh government. It added three blocks – Dolesara, Jarekela and Jharpalam-Tangarghat – and withdrew five blocks in eco sensitive Hasdeo Arand zone.

The five blocks are Morga South, Fatehpur, Madanpur (North), Morga-II, and Sayang. The ministry also withdrew Bander mine in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra from auction as the mine lies in the eco sensitive zone of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.

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