Ministry Using Coal Scarcity Excuse Weakens Protection Against Mine Expansion – The Wire Science

A employee carrying coal in a basket in an industrial zone in Mumbai, 31 Might 2017. {Photograph}: Reuters/Shailesh Andrade/File Picture


  • The Union setting ministry mentioned some coal mines won’t require a brand new EIA or public hearings to extend manufacturing.
  • The setting ministry mentioned India was responding to a request from a coal ministry that was determined to extend coal manufacturing.
  • This reveals that, opposite to what the Indian authorities says, India is certainly dealing with a coal disaster.

kochi: Coal mines with current environmental permits to extend their manufacturing by as much as 40% can now enhance manufacturing by as much as 50% with no new environmental impression evaluation or public session.

The Union setting ministry allowed this in an workplace memorandum of Might 7, and used the pretext of “big strain” on home coal provides on the request of the Union coal ministry.

The decision reveals that India is certainly dealing with a coal disaster – opposite to the coal ministry’s insistence thus far that it’s a funds disaster, not a coal disaster.

About 75% of India’s electrical energy is produced by coal-fired thermal energy crops. India is the world’s second-largest coal importer, but additionally extracts coal from reserves throughout the nation.

Coal mining is restricted by numerous legal guidelines and laws attributable to its social and environmental impression. A requirement for opening or working a coal mine is to conduct an environmental impression evaluation (EIA) and seek the advice of with individuals affected by the mine.

Mining firms ought to submit a seasonal or annual EIA to know the environmental impacts of their operations. Firms and native authorities officers ought to share these outcomes with native communities and handle their issues in a public listening to.

Each EIAs and hearings are necessary for an environmental allow issued by the Union ministry of setting. Mining firms can not function with out this permission.

Nonetheless, the ministry has been amending a few of these norms since 2017. It additionally made some modifications final month in order that it not requires new public hearings to increase some improvement initiatives. It additionally exempted some initiatives from environmental permits and prolonged the validity of others’ permits, together with mining contracts.

For instance, whereas permits for mining initiatives are at the moment legitimate for as much as 30 years, this era could be prolonged to 50 years if an knowledgeable evaluate committee opinions it each 5 years after the primary 30 years.

workplace observe

This time the setting ministry mentioned in an workplace memorandum dated Might 7 that coal mines with current environmental permits may go as much as 50% to extend their manufacturing by as much as 40%. They won’t require a revised EIA or new public session to validate extra capability.

Based on the observe, this alteration in norms will likely be legitimate for six months.

The setting ministry mentioned it made this resolution in response to an “obligation” reported by the coal ministry.

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