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Green nod: CIL mines to be viewed in clusters

This move had become necessary in the context of the sharp coal shortage that has been created by the activities of foreign-backed NGOs and other vested interests which were part of a well organised and massively funded campaign to jeopardise coal production, a vital component of the Indian economy.

‘It will be prudent to adopt a cluster approach for mines situated close by, so that the cumulative impact of mining on the environment could be documented and that only one public hearing for this cluster is held,’ the ministry stated. The ministry has identified 94 clusters in different Coal India Ltd (CIL) units.

Over the past decade the environmental activists, usually backed and funded by the US-led West, have been highly successful in disrupting the Indian mining sector, including that of key inputs for the Indian economy such as coal and iron ore. Delays in environmental clearances are one of main reasons for the current nationwide coal crunch. Due to the nefarious activities of the environment lobby, Coal India Ltd (CIL) missed the target for fiscal 2013-14 by 20 million tonnes (mt), producing 462 million tonnes. For financial year 2014-15 the country’s national coal mining company’s production target is 507 million tonnes.

This coal shortfall has been particularly devastating for the country’s thermal power sector. The nation’s power shortage was estimated to be an average of 5,295 mw in June.

The Ministry of Power has repeatedly been sending SOSes to the Coal Ministry to ask Coal India Ltd to increase production and ensure adequate coal for the struggling power sector.
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