Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Commercial mining: Govt withdraws 5 mines in Chhattisgarh forests in wake of opposition from state govt

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  • The withdrawal of the five coal mines comes in the wake of opposition from the Congress government in Chhattisgarh as these mines were located in ecologically sensitive area

  • The three new mines added to the list are Dolesara, Jarekela and Jharpalam-Tangarghat coal mines

New Delhi: The Centre has added three new coal mines in Chhattisgarh to the list of coal blocks up for commercial mining — Dolesara, Jarekela and Jharpalam-Tangarghat Coal Mines — an official notification said. The same notice also said that the government has withdrawn five mines located in the state — Morga South coal mine, and Fatehpur East, Madanpur (North), Morga-II, and Sayang coal mines — from the list of coal mines for auction under 11th tranche of auction under the CM(SP) Act, 2015 and 1st tranche of auction under the MMDR Act, 1957.

Commercial mining: Withdrawal comes in wake of opposition from state govt

The withdrawal of the five coal mines comes in the wake of opposition from the Congress government in Chhattisgarh as these mines were located in ecologically sensitive area. Chhattisgarh’s Forest, Housing and Environment Minister Mohammad Akbar had written a letter to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, urging him to keep five of the total nine blocks listed from Chhattisgarh — Morga 2, Morga South, Madanpur North, Sayang and Fatehpur East, which fall in Hasdeo Aranya and the adjoining water catchment area of the Mand River — out of the auctioning process for commercial mining. He had said that apart from being ecologically sensitive, the area was also part of a proposed elephant reserve.

Also read: Govt planning to bring another set of reforms to level playing field in coal sector: Joshi

New additions: One mine is fully explored, other 2 are partially explored

While the Dolesara coal mine, which has been added to the commercial coal block auction list, is fully explored, Jarekela and Jharpalam-Tangarghat Coal Mines are partially explored. With these amendments, the total list of coal blocks put up for sale under commercial coal auction now stands at 38.

The backdrop

The decision of opening up the coal sector for commercial mining was part of a series of announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The Coal Ministry, in association with FICCI, launched the process for auction of these coal mines on June 18. A two-stage electronic auction process is being adopted for allocation of the coal mines.

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