In an effort to speed up the implementation of ultra-mega power projects (UMPPs), the Environment and Forests Ministry has decided that such projects will no longer be linked to the clearance of their captive coal blocks. Prior to this, mines and power stations were considered a single component for green clearances. In this connection, the ministry has recently issued a notification de-linking forest and environment clearances of the coal block from that of the power station, official sources, said adding that earlier, till the time the coal block got stage-I forest clearance the power plant could not apply for environmental approvals. According to industry watchers, the latest move is seen as a decision to help the industry after M. Veerappa Moily took over as minister for environment and Forests.
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