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Satellite aids in lifting restrictions on coal blocks

Bhubaneswar, India: The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India (GOI), lifted restrictions on six coal blocks in Orissa State giving a push to three proposed major thermal power plants in the state. The decision has been made after analysing remote sensing satellite pictures, provided by the state energy minister Atanu Sabyasachi as a supporting document for lifting restrictions.
Sabyasachi met Jairam Ramesh, MoEF Minister, and apprised him of the ground situation. Through the satellite pictures and other documents he proved that there were no dense forests in the coal block areas. He requested to allow public sector organisations to operate there. Sabyasachi also vowed to take optimum care to ensure conservation of the existing trees beside doing compensatory afforestation. 
Of the six blocks under the IB Valley coal fields, three (Meenakshi-A, B and Dipside) were allocated for the 4000 mw Ultra mega power plant (UMPP) initiated by the GOI, two Manoharpur and Manoharpur Dipside) for the 1320 mw Orissa power generation corporation (OPGC) and one (Dulanga) for the NTPC’s 1600 mw power plants. 
According to MoEF officials, the MoEF clearance would be placed before the forest advisory committee (FAC) meeting expected in the second week of July before being formally permitted by the three public sector organisations to operate. 
Source: TOI