Jaipur: Union Environment Ministry has given environmental clearance for two coal blocks providing coal supply to Rajasthan’s super-critical power plant in Barmer district. The state will now get one crore tonne of coal every year for the next 15 years.

The proposal was cleared on Friday, following a marathon meeting between Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gahlot and Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh here. The matter was pending with the Central government for the last 18 months as the Environment Ministry had declared the region as ‘no go area’.

In a joint press conference, both the leaders said these coal blocks are situated in Chhattisgarh’s Parsa East and Kente Basan.
Ashok Gehlot said, “We will set four power plants in the state in the next few years. Of these, super-critical power plant in Barmer will be set up by the private sector while government will set up power plants in Chhabra and Suratgarh.”

Besides, another power plant will also be set up in the tribal belt of Banswara region, he informed.

Jairam Ramesh said, “I rejected the proposal for three times and gave approval to it only after 18 months,” adding that approval was given after dismissing the Forest Advisory Committee's recommendation.

Further, Ramesh said the nod has been given only for the super-critical power plant and no other project will avail the benefit from these blocks.