Red tape blocks Indian coal from within

AS COAL India struggles to comply with a demand to increase production and thermal coal shortfalls continue to plague Indian power utilities, governmental red tape has forced the closure of six more mines in the eastern mining province of Orissa.
Red tape blocks Indian coal from within Red tape blocks Indian coal from within Red tape blocks Indian coal from within Red tape blocks Indian coal from within Red tape blocks Indian coal from within

Courtesy Coal India

Justin Niessner

Six coal mines controlled by Coal India subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields were shut down on Saturday because their concession period expired while waiting for environmental clearances.

State authorities reportedly asked the mines to halt operations earlier this year but they were given temporary reprieve during the application process.

“We have already submitted the application and completed all the formalities,” Mahanadi technical and project director AK Singh told Reuters India.

Earlier this year the coal ministry said 50 cases across six Coal India subsidiaries were pending subject to different state governments.

A report focusing on administrative inefficiencies in June found 19 cases were stuck at the Ministry of Environment and Forests and that more than 46 million tonnes of coal were being blocked by government bureaucracy.

Coal India subsidiary South Eastern Coalfields was found to have 30 forestry approvals pending, 18 with state governments and 12 with the environmental ministry.

The Mahanadi mines suspended last weekend represent 3% of the miner’s total coal output which was 14Mt in 2011-12 and is expected to top 112Mt this fiscal year.

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