The Environment Ministry has shot down a Rs 50,000-crore proposal from ArcelorMittal for a mining project in the dense Saranda forest area of Jharkhand.
The move has dealt a blow to ArcelorMittal India’s big mining plans for iron and manganese in the state ahead of its lease expiry this month. The Jharkhand government, led by the BJP, had given its nod for the project. The company was targeting a 12 million tonnes per annum steel plant in Jharkhand and had moved the Delhi High Court this month to get an early decision on its mining project proposal across 200 acres of forest land.
The forest advisory committee (FAC), the apex clearance body in the Environment Ministry, called a special consultation to assess the proposal following orders of the High Court to expedite the process.
It refused approval, pointing out that the area under consideration is a reserved forest area and that according to the December 30th site inspection report, the area was part of the Singhbhum elephant reserve, the first of its kind in the country.