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New Delhi In an attempt to increase monitoring of mining projects and make miners accountable for mining activities, the environment ministry has agreed to the mines ministry’s proposal of a Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) which will comprise guidelines for reporting initiatives and restoration conditions for mining. The SDF needs to be submitted to regulators at the time of seeking clearance or renewal or extension.

However, the ministry has stated that the framework is only a tool for leaseholders to comply with disclosure mechanisms and not a substitute for environment clearance.

New Delhi: Private road contractors will now be held responsible for the quality of roads they build.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests has accorded the much-awaited environment clearance to a group of mid-scale projects of Tata Steel at its upcoming industrial park at Gopalpur in south Odisha.

The projects include a 55,000-tonne per annum (TPA) high carbon ferrochrome plant, a 400,000-TPA rebar mill and a desalination plant to meet the water requirement of the industrial park.

Beware when you take a newly constructed National Highway, lest you land in the woods.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) actually intends to construct new highways in bits and pieces, as it is unable to secure environment clearance for the entire project that involves construction of stretches through forest ranges. In a desperate bid to push up the pace of construction of highways, the MoRTH has proposed to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to clear part of such road projects — that is, instead of sitting over the entire project it should give approval for at least that portion which does not pass through the forest.

THE WORLD’S biggest grid failure has put the green ministry in the dock yet again.

In a big blow to the Punjab government, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday ordered complete and immediate ban on mining in operational quarries of upto five hectares in the state.

New Delhi: There has been an added push in the clearance of key infrastructure projects since the return of P Chidambaram in the finance minister’s saddle.

Over a third of operating mines in Goa are set to be closed due to a recent decision by the state government to levy a 15 per cent upfront stamp duty on the royalty paid by them.

There are only 97 mines currently in operation out of 337 registered with the state government. Hence, around 70 per cent of registered mines are closed due to restrictions imposed by the state government following investigations by the M B Shah Commission inquiring into the legality of mines with required necessary permissions.

Mumbai Difficulties in land acquisition, coal block auctions and receiving environmental clearances are the key challenges plaguing India’s power sector, stated Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, in Mumbai on Friday.

Addressing shareholders at the 93rd annual general meeting (AGM) of the Tata Power, he said: “The main fuel for meeting increasing energy needs in the country is coal. There are concerns on coal and land auction which have to be addressed.”

The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) is planning to make public hearings mandatory for all mining licences coming up for renewal or where the mine is going in for expansion. The move is expected to add another layer of control over mining activities at a time when the Prime Minister’s Office is keen to ease regulations and speed up projects.

Public hearing is a mandatory step in the process of environmental clearance for addressing concerns of affected persons which is conducted by the state pollution control board (SPCB). It is supposed to be completed within 45 days from the date of receipt of the request letter from the applicant, but often, the time taken is much more. Normally, the process is adopted while giving a fresh mining lease.

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