Ramesh asked to free more of “no-go” areas for mining

Coal India’s forthcoming IPO forces a re-think in government

sweta-ranjan

Sweta Ranjan | July 9, 2010


File photo of environment minister Jairam Ramesh
File photo of environment minister Jairam Ramesh

The controversy over “no-go” areas refuses to go. Even after Jairam Ramesh, the environment and forests minister, freed 10 percent of the “no-go” area for mining a couple of days ago, he has been asked to make more concessions following pressures from the coal ministry.

The latest directive came from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee who met both coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday.

In a statement issued today, the coal ministry said, “Ministry of coal and ministry of environment and forests have initiated an exercise to identify prima facie A and B areas for coal mining. Present A areas would be those areas with rich forest cover and bio-diversity where applications would not be entertained for forest land diversion. Present B areas would be those areas where prima facie the statutory Forests Advisory Committee in the MoEF would consider proposals for diversion of forest land for coal mining purpose.”

una2

Coal minister Shriprakash Jaiswal (L) and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee

This exercise is being undertaken after Jaiswal complained that the MoEF’s categorization of “no-go” area would lead to substantial loss in coal production, and hence hamper economic development.

In a letter to the prime minister, Jaiswal has pointed out that 48 percent of the coal bearing forests have been declared as “no-go” area—an area where mining can not be permitted because of ecologically fragile nature and the rich biodiversity-- by the MoEF.

The immediate concern, however, is over the forthcoming IPO the Coal India Limited is planning to bring to mop of about Rs 15,000 crore by divesting 10 percent of equity.

Jaiswal has mentioned in his letter to the prime minister how valuation of Coal India Limited’s shares would be adversely affected if the “no-go” norms are not relaxed to allow mining. Particularly worrisome is the fact that the Hasdeo-Arand coalfield of Chhattisgarh, which has a rich source of high quality coal, continues to remain in the “no-go” area.

At present, nine coalfields comprising of 203 blocks with 48 percent of country’s coal reserves fall under the “no-go” area.

 

Comments

 

Other News

Thackeray launches three fast-track DNA units under Nirbhaya scheme

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched three state-of-the-art human DNA units under the Nirbhaya Scheme for efficiency in criminal investigations. A wildlife DNA unit in Nagpur makes Maharashtra the country’s first state to have a forensic testing lab for animals.  

How foreign policy has been Modi’s focus right from the start

The Midway Battle: Modi’s Roller-coaster Second Term By Gautam Chintamani Bloomsbury / 400 pages / Rs 699 Gautam Chintamani, a film historian and author, has penned an in-depth chronicle of prime minister Narendra Modi’s second

Remove unauthorized constructions without pressure: Thackeray to BMC

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has instructed the Mumbai civic authorities to take immediate action on unauthorized constructions on war footing. In a virtual meeting held on Wednesday, Thackeray said no illegal construction will be tolerated in Mumbai and called upon the BMC to

Covid norms relaxed; Mumbai restaurants, shops to remain open longer

After extending timings of shops and restaurants as well as the reopening of cinema halls and theatres under specified SOPs from October 22, in view of the festive cheer, the Maharashtra government has allowed restaurants and eateries to remain open till 12AM and shops and establishments to function till 1

Global Hunger Index data collection flawed: Arvind Panagariya

Rubbishing the recently released Global Hunger Index 2021, wherein India has slipped to 101 position to be placed below Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, Arvind Panagariya, professor of economics at Columbia University and former vice chairman, NITI Aayog, has said that data collection and methodologies used

‘Blue Zones’ concept of healthy living and its relevance in India

A long life span free from diseases and disability, the so-called healthy aging, has been a matter of prime interest to humanity. It is widely held that the life expectancy is a function of interplay between various genetic and environmental factors. There is scientific evidence to support the fact that on

Visionary Talk with Dr Arvind Panagariya, Professor, Columbia University & Former VC, NITI Aayog



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter