In a RTI reply to Greenpeace, the coal ministry has confirmed that Mahan coal block will not be auctioned as per MoEF’s recommendation
GN Bureau | March 20, 2015
The ministry of coal, in a right to information reply to Greenpeace, has confirmed that the Mahan coal block will not be auctioned as per the recommendation of the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF).
Greenpeace senior campaigner’s Priya Pillai said, “After being termed ‘anti-national’ by sections of this government, it is refreshing to see them accepting what Greenpeace and Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (MSS) have been saying for years. This is a fabulous forest, home to endangered species and crucial to the livelihoods of thousands, and that is why it needs protection.”
The MoEF has recommended that only three blocks, Mahan, Marki Mangli II and Namchik-Namphuk be considered off limits to mining out of the 74 blocks in Schedule II and III of the coal ordinance.
The news that Mahan will not be auctioned comes a week after the Delhi high court ruled that the government had illegally prevented Priya Pillai from travelling to the UK to brief British Parliamentarians on the Mahan struggle, which was initially allocated to UK-registered Essar.
In June 2014, the Intelligence Bureau had accused Greenpeace India of acting against national interests for, among other things, opposing mining in the Mahan coal block. This report was then used to block access to funds from Greenpeace International, a move that was overturned by the Delhi high court in March 2015.
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