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Govt transfers forest clearance from earlier allotee to Essar

Essar Power need not apply for fresh forest clearances for captive coal mines in Jharkhand as the government has transferred to it the approvals granted to the earlier allotee.

The forest clearance (FC) was given for diversion of 374.87 hectare of forest land for captive coal mine in Tokisud north block in Hazaribag and Ramgarh districts in Jharkhand.

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The Environment Ministry has transfered the FC from earlier allottee GVK group to Essar Power Ltd following the request from the Coal Ministry.

“After careful examination of the proposal for transfer of FC and on the basis of recommendations of the Coal Ministry, the central government hereby conveys its approval for transfer of stage-I and stage-II approvals from the original user GVK, in whose favour forest land was diverted, to new user agency Essar Power ltd,in whose favour the coal block was re-allotted by the Coal Ministry,” the Environment Ministry said in a letter to the Jharkhand government.

The FC has been transferred to Essar Power with certain conditions, the ministry said in the letter dated May 11.

The conditions include that the lease transfer charges at 10 per cent of the net present value (NPV) or Rs 1,00,000 whichever is less will be realised from Essar and will be deposited in ad-hoc CAMPA before execution of the lease.

Essar Power would be required to pay the NPV as per the approval granted under FC Act if not paid earlier. The company should furnish an undertaking to pay the additional NPV, if so determined by the Supreme Court, the ministry said.

Reimbursement of amount paid by GVK would be dealt as per the provisions in in the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) second Ordinance, 2014 and rules framed thereunder, it added.

In a bid to expedite operations from the recently allocated coal mines, the Environment Ministry has amended environment clearance (ECs) norms to facilitate transfer of ECs to successful coal bidders.

The Centre recently auctioned 29 blocks in two phases to companies like Monnet, GMR Chhattisgarh, Hindalco, Reliance Cement among others, garnering about Rs 2 lakh crore.

The auction followed the Supreme Court’s cancellation of 204 coal blocks last year.


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