The committee will facilitate coordination for timely completion of procedures at the State level and suggest measures to improve the same

Seeking to push coal output to meet the surging demand for the dry fuel, the Coal Ministry has put in place a coordination panel comprising officials from the Centre and State governments to speed up clearances and ensure timely completion of coal mining projects.

The move comes close on the heels of the State-run Coal India Limited (CIL) airing concerns on clearances and stating that nearly 241 projects were awaiting environmental or forest clearances at various levels.

According to a notification issued by the Coal Ministry, the Committee shall act as the coordinating agency for monitoring and expediting FCA (Forest Conservation Act) clearances.

The committee, headed by Coal Secretary S.K. Srivastava, shall facilitate coordination for timely completion of procedures at the State level with regard to coal mine projects in the public and private sector and suggest measures for improving the same.

“Any particular issue pertaining to the coal sector that is referred to it by the Ministry shall also be deliberated upon/monitored by the committee,” it stated. The committee shall have principal secretaries of coal-producing States and representatives from the Environment and Forests (MoEF), Steel, Power and some other Ministries.

The Coal Ministry will act as Secretariat for the Committee which will meet once in three months.

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