With coal and environment ministry caught in a battle over mining areas, a Planning Commission team will recommend a way out to Prime Minister’s Office in a fortnight.
The coal ministry has objected to the categorisation of ‘go and no-go’ areas of the environment ministry stating it would mean a loss 600 million tonnes of coal mining area, and will have a huge impact on the power generating capability.
In a bid to find a solution, PM Manmohan Singh had asked the commission to constitute a panel to make recommendations on fast tracking environment clearance and ensuring that India is able to utilise its mining resources.
The commission asked its member (infrastructure) B. K. Chaturvedi to work out a mechanism for maximum use of coal resources while keeping in mind environment sustainability.
“We will submit a report to PMO in a fortnight,” Chaturvedi said. The team has sought views of both ministries on fast tracking environment clearances and is also examining international practices in this regard.
PMO had earlier expressed unhappiness over environment ministry’s “go and no-go” categorisation for coal mining.
The panel agrees in principle with the concept of categorisation stating that most coal mining is done on forestland. “The question is how much area should be “no-go” without compromising on the country’s coal production,” a official said.