GoM to decide on vital decisions on environment | delhi | Hindustan Times
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GoM to decide on vital decisions on environment

delhi Updated: Jan 13, 2011 20:51 IST
HT Correspondent

First was to constitute a Group of Ministers to decide policy on extracting minerals with minimum damage to forests and strengthening the National Tiger Conservation Authority to protect tigers in 48 tiger areas in the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh referred a proposal of the coal ministry to restrict no go areas for coal mining to just 10 % to a GoM soon after Coal minister made an opening remarking seeking banishment of Environment minister Jairam Ramesh's decision to impose no go in 30 % of forest areas.

As many 203 coal mines fall in the prohibited zone and Coal ministry estimates it will hamper coal extraction enough to generate 1,30,000 MW of power, almost double of India existing power generation.

Ramesh had, however, advocated that these forests were important natural resource as they support majority of India's unique bio-diversity. On Thursday, he refused to speak on the issue.

Jaiswal told reporters that having a legal framework to implement the undertakings to afforest the areas under coal mining was acceptable to his ministry.

"There should be severe punishment who fail to implement the undertakings submitting while seeking forest clearance," he said.

The Cabinet also decided that the GoM will also decide on the framework to fasten the environment and forest clearance process to improve implementation of infrastructure projects.

An environment ministry proposal to set up regional offices of NCTA at Nagpur, Guwahati and Bengaluru was also accepted.

"It will help in close monitoring at the regional level resulting in strengthening of tiger conservation programme," a ministry statement said. It will involve an annual expenditure of Rs 70.32 crore.

India has maximum number of tigers in wild in reserves spread over 50,000 square kms.