An high-level panel has recommended environment clearance to Neyveli Lignite's (NLC) mine in Rajasthan but with certain conditions.
Expert Appraisal Committee "after deliberation recommended the project for EC (Environment Clearance) with conditions," according to an official document.
NLC's Bithnok opencast mining project in the Bikaner district of Rajasthan has a capacity of 2.25 million tonnes per annum.
The conditions state that the environment management plan shall be prepared and implemented to minimise the adverse environmental effects.
It also says forest patch found in the southern part of the mining lease shall be left undisturbed and the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) cost should be Rs 5 per tonne of coal produced which should be adjusted as per the annual inflation, among others.
Neyveli Lignite had said in September that there is a proposal to set up a 250 MW thermal power plant with the linked lignite mine of 2.25 MTPA capacity at Bithnok in Rajasthan at an estimated cost of Rs 2,298.83 crore.
It had also said that land acquisition through Rajasthan government and diversion of forest land is being pursued.
Obtaining environment clearance is in the process. In this regard, Madras School of Economics has prepared a Social Cost Benefit Analysis Study Report which has been sent to the Environment Ministry for the issue of environment clearance for Bithnok mine project. Power purchase agreement has been signed with the discoms.