The minister says yes

Published: Friday 15 September 1995

D V Pichamuthu MINING concerns can go ahead with their operations in areas upto 50 ha now, without having to obtain environmental clearances from the ministry of environment and forests. This was stated by Kamal Nath, Union minister of state for environment and forests at a recent meeting of the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) in New Delhi.

While the limit earlier was for 5 ha only, the 10-fold rise came about after mining industries voiced their mis givings. Said D V Pichamuthu, former president of the FIMI: "The limit of 5 ha is too small and obtaining environmental clearance after submission of all details as per guidelines... involves a lot of time and expenditure". Companies interested in renewal of leases or expansion or modernisation of mine areas, however, will have to seek environmental clearance.

Toattract foreign investment in this sector, guidelines are being formulated to introduce modern mining technology like airborne geophysical surveys, especially in large areas.

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