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MOEF guidelines worrisome for coal sector

MOEF guidelines worrisome for coal sector

A recent notification by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) has left the industry especially the coal sector, worried. Under the cur­rent order, if an applicant is not able to get the clearance for using forest land which has to be obtained from the state gov­ernment within a year's time, then the project's environme­ntal clearance (EC) will also stand cancelled. Forest cleara­nce is a permission to use forest land for an industrial project, while EC is an approval to the very project itself granted after assessing its impact on the local environment. This permission which is granted by the MOEF is required for every project irre­spective of involvement of forest land. Now the expert appraisal committee (EAC) which recommends the granting of an EC will also consider the status of the forest clearance proposal put up for the concerned project. Even after the EAC favours a go-ahead for any project, if the forest clearance is not obtained within a year time the EC, even if granted, will stand rejected. The industry will have to apply afresh for getting this permission.

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