Govt transfers ECs of 19 out of 29 approved coal blocks
The Centre has so far transferred the environment clearance (EC) of 19 coal blocks out of approved 29 <g data-gr-id="31">mines</g> from the earlier allottees to the new successful bidders including JSW Steel, GMR Chhattisgarh Energy, Jaypee Cement and Ambuja Cements among others. In a bid to expedite operations from the recently allocated coal mines, the Environment Ministry had amended EC norms after a request made by the Coal Ministry to facilitate <g data-gr-id="18">transfer</g> of ECs to successful coal bidders.
"We have so far transferred the ECs of 19 coal blocks to new allottees. We have already issued the transferred letters," a senior Environment Ministry official said. The 19 coal blocks are located in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha. These blocks have a combined coal production capacity of over 22 million tonnes per annum (<g data-gr-id="21">mtpa</g>), the official added. Of 19 coal blocks, the Environment Ministry had issued transferred letters for four coal blocks in April, nine blocks in May and six blocks in the current month, according to the data maintained by the Ministry. So far this month, the Ministry has transferred the ECs of six blocks from earlier allottees to JSW Steel, GMR Chhattisgarh, Jaypee Cement, <g data-gr-id="22">Aumbuja</g> Cement, <g data-gr-id="23">Araanya</g> Mines Pvt and Bharat Aluminium Company.
The Ministry <g data-gr-id="25">transfered</g> the ECs to these companies with some conditions, the official added. "Any change in scope of work will attract the provision of Environment Protection Act (EPA) 1986 and Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006 in conjunction with the subsequent amendments/circular," said the letters sent to these companies. That apart, "all conditions stipulated in the EC letter shall remain unchanged. The successful bidder shall be <g data-gr-id="26">liable,</g> if any, for any act of violation of the EPA 1986, EIA notification 2006/ subsequent amendments and circulars which it has inherited during the transfer.