|Swarup (right) near the auction display board|
has been updating the status of the auction regularly till late at night. At times, his tweets are attached with screenshots of online auction board giving details of the contenders and the bids so far.
Let’s first look at some of Swarup’s (@swarup58) tweets on coal auction dated February 18.
“Coal Block auction update at 1800 hours: Tokisud North at 786 and Gare Palma 4/5 at 2658”
“Coal block auction status at 1950 Hours: Tokisud North at 1006, Gare Palma 4/5 at 2844. Bidding still on.”
“Coal block auction status at 2055 hours : Tokisud North closes at 1110 . Goes to Essar Power”
“Coal block auction status at 2050 hours: Gare Palma at 2908. Bidding still on”
A day earlier, it was Swarup who announced the winner of Ardhgam coal block. “Ardhgam closes at 2302 with OCL Iron and Steel as the highest bidder.”
On February 14, he declared the winner of Talabira 1 coal block. “GMR Chattisgarh gets Talabira 1 coal block for 478”.
The government had to swing into action after the Supreme Court had cancelled allocation of 204 mines in September. There were 176 applications for the auction out of which 134 were found to be technically valid. Under the current schedule, this e-auction has been taking place between February 14 and February 22.
What’s however interesting is the live stream of tweets updated by the secretary himself. It’s however helping many as secretary’s tweets are no less “official”. Alos, the tweets have turned “breaking news” as those are faster than the routine press notes.
Before becoming coal secretary, Swarup served as additional secretary in the cabinet secretariat where he had headed the Project Monitoring Group, a mechanism created by the last government to coordinate between warring ministries like coal and power. It had cleared about 215 stalled projects valued at Rs 7 lakh crore.
Swarup is an MA in political science, and hails from Uttar Pradesh.