Environment minister Jairam Ramesh has admitted that he has shown "considerable" flexibility in allowing coal mines in bio-diversity rich Hasdeo Arand while rejecting Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation's (GMDC) application for mining in the area.
Ramesh had last week given in principle approval for opening three coal blocks in fringe of Chhattisgarh's Hasdeo Arand, which was seen as the minister reversing his go-no-go policy for coal mining in the forest areas.
The prime minister's office (PMO) wanted Ramesh to give permission to four coal blocks in Hasdeo Arand.
On Tuesday, he rejected GMDC's application for mining in Morga-II in Chhattisgarh. The minister says he wants to make it clear that no project will be approved in dense parts of Hasdeo Arand, a rich bio-diverse area.
In case of Morga-II, the minister said the project proponents have already identified an alterative coal field to run the 1,800 mw of power plant. And, therefore approval to Morga-II should not be given and the alternate Bhalumunda in Mand-Raigarh coal-fields should be allocated.
Urging the PMO to consider an alternate coal block, Ramesh in a note to Prime Minister's principal secretary TKA Nair admitted that he had worked out a compromise on allowing coal mining in go area.
"In the last few days, I have shown considerable flexibility and the least that the ministry of coal can do is to reciprocate in situations where I cannot work out a compromise," he said in a note dated June 30.