Bhubaneswar : The issues relating to coal exploration from Mandakini coal mines have been put on fast track with chief secretary Asit Tripathy reviewing and resolving the issues over a digital meeting held Thursday from State Lokseba Bhawan. The principal secretary steel & mines Surendra Kumar outlined various contours of the issues for discussion.

The matters relating to conduct of Socio-Economic Survey (SES), processing of forest diversion proposal, getting environmental clearances from statutory authority in Government of India, drilling activities by Central Mine Planning & Design Institute to for estimating resource quality and preparation of scientific mining plan etc were discussed in the meeting.

Listening to the people’s concerns, chief secretary Tripathy directed the Angul collector to prepare a comprehensive rehabilitation package as per provisions of the coal bearing area development act and rehabilitation policy of the State. He added, “Odisha’s rehabilitation policy is a very dynamic and progressive policy, and, proper packaging of the compensation awards would be beneficial to the people”. The mine developing authorities were asked to design rehabilitation package as per local requirement in consultation with district authorities.

Further, chief secretary Tripathy directed the collector, SP, and concerned tahasildar to communicate with ‘would be affected’ people directly without any middle man; and, explain them properly about the ‘rehabilitation package’.

“Proper housing with basic infrastructure facilities”, added Tripathy, “must be made in rehabilitation sites”.

Additional chief secretary forest and environment Dr Mona Sharma appraised that in the meanwhile the forest diversion proposal was prepared. It would be sent to ministry of forest and environment in the coming week.

Principal secretary Surendra Kumar apprised that Nabkrushna Choudhury Center for Development Studies made the pre-study preparations for Socio-Economic Survey. It was decided to start SES and non-coal proving operations in the coming week.

Director mines Debidatta Biswal, Angul collector Siddhartha Shankar Swain, SP Jagmohan Meena and CMD NTPC Gurdeep Singh participated in the discussions.