CIL not ‘sitting idle’ after getting eco clearances: Jaiswal

The Ministries of Coal and Environment and Forests are at loggerheads over environmental clearances offered to Coal India.

In a strong rebuttal to the comments made by Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), in the recent Group of Ministers meeting, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said that Coal India is ‘not sitting idle’ and has put to use all projects wherein environmental clearance has been offered.

In the last GoM meeting headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Natarajan had hinted that Coal India, despite getting all the environment clearances, was not taking those projects forward.

Jaiswal in a letter to Natarajan has given details of Coal India’s clearances and projects that are in different stages of development. He said that coal mining was a continuous process and additional environmental clearances are necessary to meet the 12 {+t} {+h} and 13 {+t} {+h} Plan targets.

According to the Coal Ministry, against the cumulative environmental clearance capacity of about 634 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) since Coal India’s inception, nearly 75 million tonnes per annum is exhausted. Another 55 mtpa capacity is under development; 78 mtpa is involved in projects constrained due to forestry clearance, land acquisition and resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) issues and 24 mtpa is related to projects which are yet to be approved.


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