Blocks for commercial coal mining should be pre-cleared from environmental angle: Cos tell Govt

Companies including Tata Steel, JSW Steel and Adani Power among others have requested the government to ensure that the blocks proposed to be auctioned for commercial coal mining should have prior-environmental clearance, so that issues like ‘inviolate areas’ does not crop up during the development of these blocks. Inviolate areas are sights of significance for conservation of biodiversity (flora and fauna) and forest types that are unique and ecologically important.

In the stakeholders’ meeting held last month to discuss methodology for commercial coal mining, the participants made some general observations and requested that “the mines may be cleared from the environmental angle so that issues like safety zones, inviolate areas may not crop up later during development of mines,” a source said.

Some prominent players who participated in the meeting were Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Adani Power, JSPL, Hindalco and GMR Power among others.

During the meeting, the stakeholders also requested that sufficient large mines should be earmarked for the industry, instead of numerous small mines, the source said.

The participants were also of the view that the “terms and conditions are liberal and conform to the government’s intentions of opening up the Indian coal sector,” the source added.

The government had called meetings with various stakeholders to discuss the draft methodology as well as key bidding terms and conditions for auction of coal mines for commercial mining.

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