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Mahan coal mining: Gram sabha to be held in 3rd week of Aug

Mahan Sangharsh Samiti and Greenpeace India have welcomed the decision

Shashikant Trivedi  |  Bhopal 

The to decide on coal in Mahan will be reconvened during second and third week of August this year. After convening the and subsequent consent of the villagers of the area of Mahan forest, the fate of Ltd and the villagers will be decided.

"We will convene a afresh to take consent of the villagers since their legal right on the land has been sanctioned recently. Any activity cannot be permitted till the legal right can be settled. The gram sabha will decide whether the will take place or not," M Selvendran, district collector told Business Standard telephonically.

and India have welcomed the decision and said the new Gram Sabaha will decide the fate of the project and the people of the area.

"It is a victory of the movement of the people who are fighting since long," Priya Pillai of said.

A meeting between district collector M Selvendran and members of was organized today in Singrauli.

Recently, the Jabalpur High Court had ordered the Superintendent of Police to investigate in the matter.

India had moved High Court with a complaint that a there were some irregularities in the Gram Sabha that was convened last year. It had alleged that consent for clearance to Mahan Ltd for coal mining was given based on fraudulent signatures of people who were dead.

Following this approval the Ltd was given second stage clearance from Union

However, the district collector clarified, this Gram Sabha would be a fresh initiative to decide if the legal rights be settled and the project should be given go-ahead for mining. The Gram Sabha may veto the project.

The Limited, a joint venture between Power Limited and Hindalco Industries Limited, was formed in 2006 to develop the coal block and Gram Sabha was necessary under Forest Rights Act 2006. Mahan block is a part of Mohan Ban Reserve Forest which is spread over an area of 925.30 sq km and the area of Mahan Coal block is only 9.8 sq km. There are nine continuous coal blocks in that area; and Mahan is one of them. is setting up its power project while company Hindalco is setting up a large scale Alumina project in Singarauli.

First Published: Mon, July 21 2014. 19:42 IST