New Delhi: The Environment Ministry has cleared with certain conditions the expansion of a mining project in Odisha of Mahanadi Coalfield Ltd, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has said in a letter to MCL that it "hereby accords environmental clearance for the expansion of Bhubaneshwari opencast project from 20 MTPA (Million Tonnes Per Annum) to 25 MTPA of Mahanadi Coalfields...Subject to compliance of terms and conditions."
The conditions are that no mining operations will be undertaken in the forest land until clearance has been obtained under the provisions of FC (Forest Conservation) Act, 1980; the maximum production from the mine at any given time should not exceed the limit as prescribed in the EC (Environment Clearance) and the production should be within the same mining lease area among others.
The letter said the proposal was considered in the second Expert Appraisal Committee meeting held on October 3-4, and reconsidered in the 9th EAC meeting held earlier this year.
"You would need to seek and obtain approval under the FC Act for diversion of the entire forest located within the mining lease within a period of two years from the date of issue of guidelines (February 1, 2013), failing which the mining lease will be reduced to the non-forest area plus the forest area," MoEF said.
"In the case of reduction in mine lease area, you will need to get a revised mining plan approved from the competent authority for reduced area and enter into a new mining lease as per reduced lease area," it said.