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Green, coal ministers meet to hasten project clearances

The Environment and Coal ministries had been at loggerheads during the previous UPA government over the issue of clearances for mining in forest areas and Javadekar's meeting with Goel was aimed at making sure that such a situation does not arise during the current dispensation.
Javadekar said on Friday that the matter of expediting clearances of pending projects was discussed with Goel. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of the Coal Ministry seeking quicker green clearances and speed development of captive coal blocks in the forest areas, which were categorised as ‘go’, ‘no-go’ during the UPA rule.

After assuming charge on Thursday, Javadekar had said that his Ministry will give fast clearances in a transparent manner while preserving environment.

‘We believe that growth and environment protection are both possible. It is not environment versus growth. Both are possible,’ Javadekar had said. In 2010, the Coal Ministry had considered keeping 10 per cent of dense forest areas in the ‘no go’ category and open others for mining after following the due clearance process. However, Environment Ministry is saying that 48 per cent of the forest areas in central and eastern India is not viable for mining activities as it is thick forest areas.

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