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J’khand moves SC against auction of coal blocks

June 20, 2020 05:54 AM

COURTESY TOI JUNE 20

J’khand moves SC against auction of coal blocks
Dhananjay.Mahapatra@timesgroup.com

New Delhi:

A day after PM Modi kicked off the auction process of coal blocks for commercial mining with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency in energy and boosting industrial development, the Jharkhand government moved the SC challenging it on the ground that the pandemic situation would not fetch market price and tribals would be devastated by commercial exploitation of coal mines.


In a writ petition filed through advocate Tapesh Kumar Singh, the state government said the auction decision was illegal as there was no law to guide mining activities because of the legal vacuum created by lapse of the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020, on May 14.

The state said before taking a decision to open the auction process for commercial mining of coal blocks, the Centre failed to do a fair assessment of adverse social and environmental impact on the tribal population and vast tracts of forest land.

The state said, “The negative global investment climate prevailing due to Covid-19 is unlikely to fetch reasonable returns proportionate to the value of the natural resource through impugned auctions for commercial coal mining.”

The Centre’s decision to start the process for auctioning 41 coal blocks for commercial mining is open for domestic as well as global firms under the 100% FDI route and is aimed at making India self-reliant in the energy sector.

“If India is the fourth largest coal producer in the world, then why can’t we become the largest exporter,” PM Modi asked on Thursday and termed the decision a win-win situation for all.

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