New Delhi: Maharatna Coal PSU, Coal India Limited’s (CIL) 10 coal mining projects have got a green nod so far for their expansion which would lead to an additional capacity of 9.65 million tonnes, Parliament was informed on Monday.
The government had earlier eased the norms for coal mine expansion in the wake of the supply crunch in the summer months.
Replying to a query in Rajya Sahba, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said of the 10 projects of Coal India Ltd (CIL), three are in Odisha, two each are in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and one in Chhattisgarh.
While in five coal mining expansion projects, environment clearances (EC) was given in May, in the remaining five cases the nod was given in July.
While granting EC to these projects, which are falling within and outside the severely polluted area, additional environmental safeguards have been provided as part of EC condition.
In order to augment the coal production to meet India’s energy need, the coal ministry had made a plea to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to consider expansion of mines without public consultation up to 50 percent of their production capacity.
The Centre had on May 7 issued an office memorandum, “regarding special dispensation for consideration of Environment Clearance (EC) from 40 to 50 percent expansion in coal mining projects, within the existing premises/mine lease area, without additional land acquisition.”
This special dispensation was given to only those mines which have already obtained 40 percent dispensation based on earlier reforms, Joshi said.
Coal India accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal output.
Coal Secretary AK Jain had earlier attributed the power crisis in the summer months to the sharp decline in electricity generation from different fuel sources and not due to the non-availability of domestic coal.
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