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It’s yet again the tussle between the power ministry and the environment ministry, more specifically the environment minister Jairam Ramesh.

The Mahan coal block was originally allocated to Essar Power and Hindalco industries to fuel their power projects. But the environment ministry has decided that allowing mining in this coal block. located in a biodiversity rich area, would have destroyed good natural forest cover. The decision by the Environment Ministry seems to have emanated also from the fact that power plant will cover the needs of the companies only partially.

The Environment Ministry has instead suggested the Sohagpur coal block in Shahdol district as a possible alternative.

Leaving aside the question on who is right and who is not, this case once again highlights the growing power of environment ministry which is not willing to allow development at any cost…