New Delhi, Sep 2:
In a move to aid efforts to increase coal production, the union environment ministry has eased the clearance process to increase production for coal mines with 20 million tonnes per annum capacity.
The ministry has decided to extend the exemption from holding public hearings for a one-time expansion of existing coal mines of 20 million tonnes capacity provided the transportation of additional coal is done by means of conveyor or rail transport.
The ceiling on additional production has been kept at 6 million tonnes per annum.
The decision, taken on a request by the coal ministry, was Tuesday communicated through an office memorandum of the environment ministry.
In July, the ministry had allowed coal mines to increase production without undertaking public hearings from existing lease areas by 50 percent, or up to 1 million tonnes a year, whichever is greater.