Mining projects await forest department clearance in Jharkhand

October 11th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Oct 11 (IANS) Several mining companies, which have been allotted mining blocks in Jharkhand, are not able to start operations in the state as the projects are yet to be cleared by the forest department. According to sources in the mines and geology department, 22 companies have been allocated iron ore mines and coal blocks in the state. But none of them is able to start mining.

“Several companies got approval for mining in the state from the central government. But the mining work can start only after forest clearance is accorded to them,” a department official told IANS.

The companies who got mining lease include ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel, Jindal South West and Electrosteel Casting.

Electrosteel was given a mining lease on June 1, 2006. After more than two years, the company is still waiting for forest clearance.

“Allocation of mines is just one step in the process to start mining. Before starting mining, we have to seek clearance from the forest and environment department, pollution department among other departments. The procedural work unnecessarily delays the mining work,” a senior Electrosteel official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Asked about the delay, Forest and Environment Secretary Sukhdeo Singh said: “We will soon review the forest clearance issue. Around 10,000 to 12,000 hectares of forest land have been allocated for mining purpose.”

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