Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said the Supreme Court's observations have also gives the opportunity to evaluate the most transparent and competent way to allocate a high value natural resources.
    
"The Supreme Court's observations give us the opportunity to evaluate what can be the most transparent and competent way to allocate a high value natural resource such as coal for mining purposes and ensure its efficient use," said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, CSE.
    
The Supreme Court had scrapped the allocation of 214 out of 218 coal blocks to various companies since 1993 terming it as "fatally flawed", an order that could have serious implications for the energy sector.
     
"The court's intervention provides an excellent opportunity and window to initiate reforms in the entire mining sector. The issue of appropriate allocation and extraction of mineral resources and the unfair distribution of costs and benefits realised from such resource extraction is a long standing controversy," he said.
    
Stating that India's existing regulatory mechanisms and institutions were not fit to deliver results in the 21st century, CSE also put forth some recommendations which include moving away from allocation of captive mines and going for open auction.
    
"Given the inefficiency and non-transparency in functioning of captive coal blocks, India should move away from captive mining. New allocations should be done through open auction to mining companies," CSE said.
    
The other recommendations include beginning of auctioning only after all environmental and social issues were sorted out, realising the clearances that have already been granted, capturing the windfall profits for society, involving people in decision-making and others.
    
Stating that between April 2007 and August 2014, more than 260 coal mining projects with a cumulative production capacity of about 823 million tonnes (MT) per year were given environmental clearance, CSE said that if clearances given during this time are fully realised, this combined with India's current production capacity of 566 MT is more than sufficient to meet the country's projected demand of 980.5 MT in 2017.

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