The Union government has announced a new online single window clearance portal for the coal sector to speed up the operationalization of coal mines.

  • A single window clearance portal is aimed at allowing successful bidders for coal blocks to be able to obtain all required clearances.
  • It includes environmental and forest clearances, from a single portal with progress monitoring, instead of having to go to multiple authorities.
  • The portal should allow successful bidders to operationalize coal mines more quickly.
  • The Parivesh mechanism for forest and environment-related clearances would likely be merged into this mechanism.

Why need such a portal?

  • Presently, about 19 major approvals or clearances are required before starting the coal mine in the country.
  • In the absence of a unified platform for grant of clearances, companies were required to approach different departments, leading to delay in operationalization.

How will the portal help?

  • Industry sources said that the sector has long sought a single-window clearance system to help with quicker operationalization.
  • Obtaining the requisite clearances was taking over 2-3 years for successful bidders in many cases.
  • Some coal blocks auctioned as far back as 2015 has still not been operationalised due to delays in obtaining required clearances.

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