Speed up green clearances, Coal India tells government

Coal India Ltd (CIL) has said that inordinate delays in environmental clearances for its mining proposals have stalled investment decisions on 67 new projects, and also affected expansion work in ongoing projects, translating into an annual production loss of 200 million tonnes.

"Some 168 of our projects are pending environment and forest clearances at the central and state levels. Sixty-seven of these projects are Greenfield, and we are unable to make any investment in these. The remaining are ongoing expansion schemes, which too have been stalled," CIL chairman N C Jha said in New Delhi on Saturday.

CIL, he said, has requested the government to take an early decision on clearances so that they can proceed on projects or conduct estimates of the reserves if mining is allowed in some areas.

Jha also said CIL is drawing up a sustainability report which will constitute a part of its corporate social responsibility activity, for which an annual investment of Rs250 crore has been earmarked.

Coal India will hire a private consulting firm during this financial year to prepare the report.

The report will include different initiatives that Coal India needs to take to improve business, while at the same time maintaining the interests of various stakeholders and the environment.