The government could get its act together to fast track the environmental clearance for coal blocks for which its group of ministers (GoM) are slated to meet on May 30.
Government sourced told CNBC TV18 that the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) is likely to present a report on clearances of coal blocks.
Sources said the clearance is also likely for Mahan and Chatrasal coal blocks as both these blocks need environment and regulatory clearances. Lot of power projects have been suffering due to the slow clearance process. For example, Reliance Power’s Sasan UMPP is linked to Chatrasal block in MP while Hindalco and Essar Power’s joint venture is linked to the Mahan coal block.
Sources also said that forest clearance was denied to the Morga II block by the MoEF in the past which was allocated to Gujarat Mineral Development Corporatoion (GMDC). The ministry of coal was then asked to allocate some other block to GMDC. But the coal ministry has said this is not possible as the rules have been ammended since the last allocation.
The environment ministry had eased the rules for developers of coal-based power, steel and sponge iron projects by allowing them to apply for clearance of a project even as the environment clearance for coal blocks was under consideration, the Economic Times reported.
However, the environmental clearance will be officially granted only after preliminary forest clearance is granted to the linked coal source.