The Minister of State for Environment and Forests (Independent charge), Shri Jairam Ramesh and the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Coal, Statistics and Programme Implementation, Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal at the Joint Press Briefing, in New Delhi on June 18, 2009.
The Minister of State for Environment and Forests (Independent charge), Shri Jairam Ramesh and the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Coal, Statistics and Programme Implementation, Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal at the Joint Press Briefing, in New Delhi on June 18, 2009.
Business & Economy

Environment clearances for coal projects to be expedited

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, June 18, 2009

The Minister of State for Environment and Forests (Independent charge), Shri Jairam Ramesh and the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Coal, Statistics and Programme Implementation, Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal at the Joint Press Briefing, in New Delhi on June 18, 2009.
The Minister of State for Environment and Forests (Independent charge), Shri Jairam Ramesh and the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Coal, Statistics and Programme Implementation, Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal at the Joint Press Briefing, in New Delhi on June 18, 2009.
Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh and Minister of State for Coal Sriprakash Jaiswal today announced that they had taken several steps to ensure faster environmental clearances for coal sector projects.
The decisions were taken by the two ministers at a meeting held here yesterday, at which senior officials from the two ministries as well as coal companies and environmental agencies were also present.
At a press conference here today, the two ministers said there was a need for increasing the production of coal in a sustainable manner. They agreed that coal was a critical resource for meeting the energy requirements of the country.
Apart from improving the mechanisms at the Central level, both the ministers would visit the concerned states to take up issues of delays in granting state government clearances, they said.
The meeting decided that the ministries would revisit the existing guidelines for exploratory boreholes in forest areas and, for the purpose, three pilot sites would be taken up in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh to ascertain the impact of such exploration activities on the local flora and fauna.
It was decided that the Ministry of Coal would submit plans of coal field areas superimposed with digitized maps of the forest cover to take a decision on "Go" and "No-Go" areas for coal exploitation.
To expedite environmental clearance of coal projects, two-part standard Terms of Reference would be developed, with Part A being common to all projects and Part B with project specific details, one each for opencast mines and underground mines.
To ensure better coordination, Coal India Limited (CIL), the main coal producer in the country, would induct a senior Indian Forest Service officer of the rank of Chief Conservator of Forests to coordinate with different state forest departments and the Ministry of Environment and Forests. An environmental expert will also be appointed for close coordination and monitoring of environmental activities.
The meeting decided in principle to re-induct a representative from the Ministry of Coal in the Environmental Appraisal Committee (EAC).
The ministers said they had agreed to continue this dialogue on a regular basis to help achieve a coal production level of 1.7 and two billion tonnes of coal by 2030.
NNN
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