Greenpeace for halting any further coal blocks allocation

September 11th, 2012 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) Environment organisation Greenpeace Tuesday called for a halt on any further allocations and forest clearances for coal mining, until a transparent public consultation process is held to arrive at the criteria for such allotments.

The group held a protest outside the coal ministry here demanding that government needs to take into account biodiversity, livelihood dependence, hydrological values and the value of intact landscapes while allocating coal blocks.

“It’s now clear that corruption is the real reason behind the coal shortage, not slow environmental clearances. The government and the coal lobby can no longer use the power shortage as a pretext to destroy more forest areas for coal mining,” said Greenpeace campaigner Arpana Udupa.

The protest comes at a time when the government is dealing with allegations of corruption in coal block allocation.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in a report to parliament in August said that lack of transparency in allocation of coal blocks to private players resulted in a notional loss of Rs.1.85 lakh crore ($37 billion) to the exchequer.

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