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Surplus mine land would be returned to states: Goyal


New Delhi:  The surplus land that is no longer required by coal companies will either be returned to state governments or would be used for building solar power plants, Parliament was informed today.

“The government has examined the issue of amending Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957 to return the mined out land and the land acquired but found to be in excess of actual requirement to the state government for utilisation after reclaiming them,” Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

However, the Minister said: “Considering our efforts towards providing clean and green energy, we are also considering setting up solar energy plants on such lands.”

The government has set an ambitious target of generating 1,00,000 MW of solar power projects by 2022.

Goyal said protection of such land against encroachment and maintenance of the same often involves unnecessary expenditure on the part of coal companies.

The Minister added that if such land is returned to the concerned state governments, they can then decide on the appropriate utilisation of such land.

The excess land can be used for afforestation, public utility services, renewable energy projects, etc.

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