Jairam Ramesh gives go-ahead to sixteen coal projects

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New Delhi:  Ahead of a meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the coal issue on Friday, Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has agreed to clear sixteen coal projects that have been stuck for a year now.

Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal told NDTV that he had a fruitful meeting with Jairam Ramesh who has agreed to relax pollution norms slightly, thus allowing sixteen projects of the state-owned Coal India Limited to go ahead.

"My meeting with Jairam Ramesh was fruitful, he understood our problems. We are both doing our duties...a final meeting with the GoM is still pending."

The meeting between the two ministers was held on February 10.

The softening of stand over the coal projects preceded months of confrontation between the environment and the coal ministries with Jairam clearly demarcating go and no-go areas for coal projects.

This resulted in several projects being held up.

The face-off between the two ministries had reportedly led Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ask the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to reconsider the policy of 'no-go' mining areas in view of coal shortages that the power sector is facing.

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