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The ministry of environment and forests has issued a letter to the Adani Group stating that the permission for coal mining has been denied to them since it would destroy rich forests and the tiger habitat at Tiroda in Maharashtra
The ministry of environment and forests has denied permission to the Adani Group for coal mining at Lohara near Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), for setting up a 1,980-MW power plant in Gondia district of Maharashtra, reports PTI.
Adani Power is setting up the project at Tiroda (Gondia) and had planned to source the coal from Lohara.
"Our ministry issued a letter on 7th January to the Adani Group stating that the permission (for coal mining) has been denied to them since it would destroy rich forests and the tiger habitat," Union minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters after his visit to Lohara.
Mr Ramesh, who met several environmental activists here on Tuesday, assured them that “there will be no review and no reconsideration” in this matter.
Dismissing any flip-flop, Mr Ramesh categorically said that the coal block was allotted to the company earlier by the coal ministry, and the environment and forest ministry should have been consulted.
"Our ministry has declined permission and informed the coal ministry to allot an alternative coal block to Adani. I am holding a meeting with the coal minister once in a month to discuss such issues personally," Mr Ramesh added.
He said that the forest ministry has launched an exercise of mapping to identify the coal blocks falling under forest lands and endangering wildlife and forests.
The ministry will give a 'go' and 'no-go' signal in such cases which means only after such permission, coal mining can be taken up, Mr Ramesh said, citing the exercise being conducted at Nand Karan in Jharkhand where out of 58 coal blocks, 38 have been given the ‘go’ and 21 the ‘no-go’ signal.
A similar exercise is being conducted in Talchar, Ibb Valley, Raniganj (West Bengal) and Hansdeo (Chhattisgarh), he said.
Acknowledging the demand for coal for power production, Mr Ramesh said the requirement will increase to 1,000 million tonnes from the present 500 million tonnes.
Coal is abundantly available in Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, he said.
Mr Ramesh also expressed concern over increasing pollution levels and said Chandrapur is the fourth most polluted city in the country after Wapi, Ankleshwar (Gujarat) and Ghaziabad. Hence the ministry has decided against new industries in Chandrapur for the next eight months to control industrial pollution, he said.