MoEF has made the process of environmental clearance for expansion of coal mines a bit easier from now.
Mines that have an annual capacity of up to 8 million tonnes, will not require holding of public hearings, if expanded by up to 50% of their capacity as against earlier rule that required public hearings even if the mine capacity was being expanded by 25%.
This decision is considered to be useful for Coal India that will now be able to increase its output by 30-40 million tonnes.
The ministry which under the two earlier ministers had a pro environment stance has now taken a pro industry stance.
The decision taken by the ministry to relax the clearance process for expansion projects comes at a time when there are increased reports of increased violations by the coal industry. The industry experts on the other hand have cited tough environmental regulations for delay in project deliveries.
Image Credit: Wikipedia