Rajasthan has decided not to seek more time from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to grant green clearance to mines as relaxation of norms by the Centre exclusively for Rajasthan has sped up the clearance process.
The amendment brought by the union ministry on July 1 allowed the District Environment Impact Assessment Authority to issue green clearance to mines above five hectares.
Earlier, mines above five hectares had to seek clearance from state-level authorities, which caused applications to pile up.
Over 25,000 mines were shut in May in the state after the NGT ruled that mining activity would not be allowed without environment clearance.
Of the 33,015 mines, 27,140 had applied for environment clearance. Around 20,000 got environmental clearance and have started operation. The rest is likely to get the clearance by August 20.
An official said of the total application received, 506 have been rejected. Maximum applications 13,066 were received from Jodhpur, he said.
NC Goel, the additional chief secretary of the forest and environment department, said his department was considering to withdraw the plea. “The prayer made before the NGT at that point has lost relevance after substantial progress made in disposing of pending applications for the clearance,” he said.