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‘No -Go’ forests approved for mining: CSE probe

  • IASbaba
  • August 20, 2020
  • 0
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‘No -Go’ forests approved for mining: CSE probe

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Environment

In News:

  • Recently, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) probe has found that software was tweaked to clear blocks in dense forests for cold blocks auction.
  • These dense forests are known as ‘No-Go’ areas or forests.

Key takeaways 

  • Investigation details: 
    • Since 2015, 9 out of 49 blocks cleared for coal mining were in ‘No-Go’ areas, or regions that were once classified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change as containing very dense forests and hence closed to coal mining.
    • In 2020, of the 41 blocks put up for auction, 21 feature in the original No-Go list.
      • A two stage e-auction is being adopted for the allocation of these mines. 
      • It is a part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • It was also revealed through RTI that 67% of the mines auctioned since 2015 were not operational yet. 
  • From 2015-2020, the government tried to auction 112 mines, but succeeded in only 42 cases.
  • Several potential coal reserves are located in dense forests particularly in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. 
  • The government determined which of them were too ecologically important to touch, and which were amenable to be opened up using ‘decision support system software’.
  • In some cases, results of the software evaluation were tweaked to make ‘No-Go’ land into ‘Go-forests’. 

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