Indian Express reported that despite a biodiversity report from the Wildlife Institute of India warning that the forests in Chhattisgarh’s Hasdeo Aranya Coal Field should be declared a “no-go area”, the state government is pushing for permission to start phase II of mining in the PEKB coal block, in the same area.The records from a meeting of the Union Environment Ministry’s Forest Advisory Committee on October 28 show the committee analysed an “instant request” for clearance filed by the state government. The FAC was discussing on diversion of forest land for PEKB coal block’s phase II spread across 1,136-hectare forests. According to the minutes of the meeting, the state forwarded an opinion of its Advocate on Record that the PEKB proposal may be considered as per law as issues related to biodiversity are being addressed in the Biodiversity Assessment Report submitted by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education Dehradun.On its part, the records show, the ICFRE showed the green signal for mining in “four contiguous coal blocks” in the HACF area. Tara, Parsa, PEKB and Kete extension, that are either already opened or in advanced stage of getting statutory clearances/TOR approved, can be considered for mining. But the minutes also show that the ICFRE and the state ignored several red flags raised by the WII in its own assessment, which was included as Volume II in the ICFRE’s report.The PEKB Parsa (East) and Kete Basan coal block is owned by Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited and run by Adani Enterprises, which is the official Mine Developer and Operator in this venture.