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Coal crisis: Rajasthan Chief Secy writes to Chhattisgarh counterpart for starting mining operations

ANI | Updated: May 20, 2022 17:52 IST

New Delhi [India], May 20 (ANI): Continuing the efforts to get its coal mines started, Rajasthan government has written another letter to Chhattisgarh's Chief Secretary Usha Sharma to mention that the livelihood of more than 5,000 families living near the mining sites is at stake.
In the letter to his Chhattisgarh counterpart Amitabh Jain, Rajasthan Government's Chief Secretary also said that the delay will also lead to revenue loss for the former.
Referring to the troubles caused by a handful of local population, who are being supported by some NGOs with doubtful credentials, Sharma wrote, "the aforesaid activities are causing social unrest at the mining site, as more than 5000 families are directly or indirectly dependent on mining activities."
"Further, the delay in commencement of mining operations shall adversely affect the production of coal, its supply and the power generation in Rajasthan. The above delay will also cause revenue loss to the State Government of Chhattisgarh," she added.
The Central government had allocated three Chhattisgarh-based coal mines - Parsa, Parsa East Kete Basan (PEKB) and Kete Extension to Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited for running its thermal power plants.

Out of the three, RRVUNL was able to extract coal only from Parsa mines, while the operations at the other two sites could not start because of pending environmental clearances.
Following the approvals given by Central Government, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also visited Chhattisgarh in March and requested his counterpart Bhupesh Baghel to grant the required approvals as RRVUNL was unable to meet its daily coal requirements.
Since the meeting of the two CMs, required permissions were granted by Chhattisgarh Forest Department, but even then operations could not take off because of the protest by a group of locals who opposed tree cutting activities in the area. The distractors have been arguing that Rajasthan's coal blocks will affect the biodiversity of Hasdeo Arand Forests.
As per the law, the mine allottees and the beneficiary state government are required to undertake compensatory afforestation and RRVUNL has already planted over eight lakh trees to maintain the ecological balance. Further, Chhattisgarh's Forest Department has already planted over 60 lakh trees and is growing.
In her letter, Sharma highlighted the problems caused by some locals and the support extended to them by few NGOs.
"Some local people with the support of few NGOs, are creating problem and taking inappropriate actions to stop the working at the site for tree enumeration and tree felling activity which is a pre-requisite for OB removal, followed by coal production," the letter read.
Chattisgarh supplies coal to the power generation units in Rajasthan and it is on the brink of facing a severe electricity shortage because of short-supply of coal, Chhattisgarh too is incurring huge losses in terms of taxes and revenue paid by RRVUNL. (ANI)