Hemant questions Centre’s rush to auction coal blocks | Ranchi News

Ranchi: A day after the Jharkhand government moved the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s move to initiate the auction of coal blocks for commercial mining, chief minister Hemant Soren on Saturday said knocking at the apex court’s door was in the interest of his state and its people.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the auctioning process of 41 coal blocks in the country, 20 of which is in Jharkhand. On Friday, the Mahagathbandhan government moved a writ petition in the apex court contending against the auction, arguing that the move will not benefit the state in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to journalists at the Project Building in the afternoon, Soren said, “Mining is a sensitive issue for Jharkhand. Any major policy decision cannot be made in haste without taking the state into confidence. I had written to the PM a few days back seeking deferment of the auction for six to nine months giving him the reasons. But I don’t understand why the Centre wants to rush things.”
Soren added that for him and his government, the priority is to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure jobs and food to all those who are affected by lockdown. He said, “We have to feed people, give jobs to our migrant brothers, help local industries revive and so on. That is my priority at the moment. Moreover, we also need time to deliberate with all stakeholders before giving a nod to the Centre’s decision.”
Notably, Soren had hailed the Centre’s decision to privatise mining and termed it as historic. He said, “Mining is important for our state. Let us first tackle the global pandemic crisis and provide livelihoods. There are already several unsolved issues of displacement and unrest due to mining activities in the past, besides damage to the ecology. So before any big policy shift, we must consult everyone concerned for sustainable development.”

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