By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, March 25, 2021: The Central Forest Advisory Committee has approved diversion of 783 hectares of forest land for Naini coal block allotted to Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) in Odisha.

The clearance for diversion of the forest land follows a positive public opinion secured for the project in the public hearing held earlier in January this year. The forest land in the Naini block comprises 783 hectares out of the total land of 912.7 hectares allotted to it. The advisory panel cleared the proposal on March 24.

Chairman and Managing Director of SCCL N. Sridhar complimented the officials of the company for their ground work for the purpose and the advisory committee for giving its nod for diversion of the forest land. According to officials of the coal company, diversion of the forest land is a significant development for the operation of the coal block.

Naini is the first coal block allotted to SCCL outside Telangana. Later, it was also allotted the New Patrapada block, also in Odisha. Following the forest clearance and positive public opinion, the management is expecting the environmental clearance for the project at the earliest – at least by June-end so that coal mining could be taken up by the end of this fiscal.

The management is planning to commence the removal of overburden from October next with the hope that the environmental clearance would be granted by June-end. The CMD complimented Advisor for Naini block Vijaya Rao, General Manager Suresh, Directors of the company N. Balaram and S. Chandrasekhar and Advisor (Forest) Surendra Pandey for their efforts in taking the project forward.

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