Mahanadi Coalfields may face Rs 20,000 crore penalty

“Coal India subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Limited can face a penalty of more than Rs 20,000 crore in the wake of a Supreme Court order that rendered illegal all mineral production in violation of environmental laws.The Supreme Court ruling — in a case filed by social organization Common Cause against the Union of India and others over violations of iron ore and manganese miners in Odisha — has also prompted the expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the central environment ministry to defer clearances to coal projects,’ writes Meera Mohanty.

//Odisha directorate of mines has already sent notices to 152 errant lessees, including Orissa Mining Corporation, Tata Steel and Aditya Birla company Essel Mining, to recover Rs.17,576.17 crore.

In a parallel development last month, an expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEF) refused to clear a mega expansion of another Coal India subsidiary Central Coalfields’s Karo mine in Bokaro, Jharkhand. Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) wanted environment clearance (EC) to expand the mine’s annual capacity from 1.5 million tonnes to 15 million tonnes. //

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