The Union environment ministry has relaxed the mandatory compliance norms for coal mining expansion projects citing higher demand for coal.

According to the revised norms, coal mines with environmental clearances (EC) to expand by 40 percent, can now expand by up to 50 percent without any environmental impact assessment or public consultation.

AIR correspondent reports, that the condition is that the mining continues to be in the same lease area and available coal reserves.

Earlier,  the coal ministry has repeatedly clarified that the ongoing power crisis was not due to the shortage of coal but non-payment of dues to Coal India Ltd by the states, delays in lifting coal, and poor planning.