In the wake of the CBI raid implicating an officer of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in arranging green clearances for certain mining projects in Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, the ministry has for now put on hold all projects associated with the implicated consultant.

Sources said a limestone mining project of Chariot Steel & Power located at village Raiboga in Sundergarh district has already been put on hold. The CBI had on January 16 recovered Rs 1.04 crore from a MoEF deputy director. He was arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 7 lakh to arrange environmental clearance for an Orissa-based power and steel company.

CHERRAPUNJEE (MEGHALAYA): On the way to Cherrapunjee, at a tiny town called Mawmihthied, girls line up near a water tap with a long queue of empty buckets. As one nears what was once ranked the world's wettest place, there are more such groups waiting to fill up for the day.

Laribinglin, 26, one of those hanging around the tap -- they are called 'platform' here -- says scrounging for water has become part of daily schedule. "Sometimes we get proper drinking water once in three days," she complains. "The source is one and half hours away. It is not possible to walk there every day."

A patchwork green and black — hills of glistening coal and forested flats — sprawls over 2,000 sq km in the East Jaintia Hills. The digging, splitting and sorting of coal is ceaseless, as is the coming and going of SUVs loaded with migrant labour. A fine black film covers every inch of Ladrymbai — every aspect of life in this mining town revolves around coal.

Of the 29 candidates for Meghalaya's assembly in the East Jaintia Hills, at least 13 are well known coal mine owners; two have limestone mines. In the constituency of Khliehriat, all five candidates — one each from the Congress and United Democratic Party and three independents — are coal barons.

While rejecting sections of a proposed road that it fears will disturb India's largest breeding site for flamingos in the Great Rann of Kutch, the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has recommended

An environmental scientist’s arrest for granting clearance for a limestone mine in Orissa is the tip of the corruption iceberg that is floating freely in the environment ministry.

A cash stash of `1 crore was allegedly recovered from the Gurgaon and Rohtak premises of Neeraj Kumar Khatri, who works as a deputy director in the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF).

SHILLONG: Despite the introduction of the State Mining Policy, unscientific mining of coal and limestone continue to pollute Lukha river in Jaintia Hills.

The colour of the water continues to remain blue during the entire course of the winter season due to rampant pollution. An official of the State Pollution Control Board said that the Board had in the past suggested remedial measures, both short term and long term, to address the issue of the river water turning blue.

Upset over the failure of the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) to frame forest clearance norms as directed by the Supreme Court and the resultant delays in road projects, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planing to take up the matter with the court afresh. The authority’s move comes after it secured a favourable opinion from both the law ministry and the Cabinet secretariat, official sources told FE.

Delays in environmental approvals — usually attributed to the existing policy of linking the same to forest clearances — and procedural issues have affected implementation of national highway projects worth R23,000 crore. This is at a time the Prime Minister’s Office and finance ministry are asking all wings of the government to make concerted efforts to speed up infrastructure projects to accelerate economic growth.

Aggrieved people of Lanjiberna and nearby places in Kutra block are up in arms against cement major OCL India Ltd for environmental pollution.

Farmers of Bihaband and Danatoli villages of Rajgangpur block in Sundargarh district are a worried lot despite bumper crop.

Jaipur: A division bench of Rajasthan high court on Monday issued notices to the state and Central governments seeking their response to a PIL seeking to nullify the first-come-first-serve rule adopted for allotment of mining leases for precious minor minerals in the state.

The order came on a PIL filed by one Battulal Meena who challenged the rules framed under Rajasthan Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1986. The PIL claims that the lease for extracting minor minerals like limestone, marble, granite etc, are being allotted under firstcome-first-serve basis while low quality and less priced mineral stones like chezza stone is being awarded through public auction which is highly arbitrary and whimsical.

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