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Singh asks PC to prepare roadmap on coal industry's problems

business Updated: Mar 27, 2010 01:50 IST
Prime Minister

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked Planning Commission to prepare a detailed roadmap on problems faced by the coal industry ranging from land acquisition to getting green clearances, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Friday.

"The matter came up at the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) yesterday where the Prime Minister was informed of several hitches which were holding up the coal mining proposals not necessarily by environment ministry," Ramesh said.

Suggesting that his ministry was cooperative in clearing the projects rather than holding them up, he noted, "of 300 mining projects my ministry received in the last 30 years, only 20 were rejected."

He said the roadmap to be prepared by the Planning Commission will identify the areas where the Coal ministry was facing problem and help it get faster environment clearances to its projects.

Ramesh also asserted that he has requested the Prime Minister to make his ministry a part of the Coal Mining Allocation Committee so that the eco-senstive zones are not identified for the mining purpose at the first place itself.

"But since, we are kept out of the allocation process, the ministry ends up in selecting senstive zones, a proposal of which does not find favour with the Environment Ministry," Ramesh said.

He also blamed the states for the delay saying that they often take nearly three-four years to forward the proposals.

According to Ramesh, the ministry has identified "go" areas and "no-go" areas and citied the example of north Karanpura region in Jharkhand, where 38 out of the 59 mines have been classified as "go-areas."

Ramesh also emphasised that as environment minister he wanted to ensure that the central legislations -- the Forest Conservation Act and the Environment Protection Act -- were properly implemented, sources said.

Surface Transport Minister Kamal Nath, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Water Resources Minister Pawan Bansal have reportedly complained to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the environment ministry was delaying projects without reasons.