Coming under severe criticism for inordinate delay in giving clearance for many large projects, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has come out with some statistics to prove its innocence. According to the figures given by the MoEF, 23 cases of Stage-I Forest Clearance (FC) and 51 cases of Stage-II clearance for mining projects are pending for want of information, thus putting the ball back in the court of Ministry of coal and concerned state government.
The MoEF has recently given the details of Stage-1 and Stage-2 Forest Clearances to the Ministry of Coal which are pending with MoEF due to lack of desired/additional information or compliance reports from various project proponents or state governments. According to the Environment ministry Stage-I FC is pending for six projects of Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), Jharkhand, 5 projects of Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd (CMPIL), Madhya Pradesh, 5 projects of South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), Madhya Pradesh, 4 projects of Western Coalfield Ltd (WCL), Madhya Pradesh and one each of SECL, Chhattisgarh and WCL, Maharashtra. In the mean while, it is hoped that Urimari OC project of CCL, Jharkand would soon get Stage-I FC as the required information has been submitted to the MoEF recently.
In Case of Stage-II Forest Clearance, nine pending cases belongs to CCL, Jharkhand, two of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL), Jharkhand, four of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), Odihsa, two of North Eastern Coalfields Ltd (NEC), Assam, twenty seven of SECL in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, six of WCL, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and one belonging to Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL) in Jharkhand. Sources in Ministry of Coal say that they are helpless as most of the information required has to come from the concerned state governments. On the other hand, MoEF says that some of the applications lack even basic documents like topography sheet, NoC under FRA and DGPS map. In case of some projects project proponents have delayed the submission of compliance report thus delaying the process of environment clearance.