The Ministry of Coal has moved forward with a comprehensive sustainable development plan and initiated its speedy implementation.
Primary focus is on making immediate social impact through Out of Box (OoB) measures besides regular environmental monitoring and mitigation during mining operation, the coal ministry said in a statement.
These OoB measures include use of surplus mine water for irrigation and drinking purpose in and around mining areas, extraction and use of sand from overburden (OB), promoting Eco-Mine Tourism, encouraging bamboo plantation, etc.
Top most priority is being given to gainful utilisation of mine water for irrigation and providing treated water for drinking to rural population in and around command area of mining subsidiaries of Coal India (CIL), Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) and NLC India Ltd (NLCIL).
Huge volume of mine water released during mining operation is partially utilised for internal consumption by coal mines for providing drinking water in their colonies, dust suppression, industrial use, plantation etc. The internal consumption constitutes about 45 per cent of total mine water leaving a substantial volume for community use.
Some of the subsidiaries of CIL are already providing mine water for irrigation purpose and drinking water to nearby villages. A detailed mine wise plan has been prepared for all the coal/lignite companies for maximising supply of mine water to nearby villages in their command areas.
Ten new eco-parks in different mining areas are under different stages of development in various subsidiaries of CIL, SCCL and NLCIL and will be completed in next two years.
Coal companies have already developed 15 eco-parks in various coalfields. The Saoner Eco Park of WCL near Nagpur is running eco-mine tourism circuit, a first of its kind in the country, in collaboration with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (MTDC) where people can visit and see mining operation of both opencast and underground mines.
There is a likely plan to start eco-mine tourism circuit in different coal companies to showcase efforts made by coal companies in environmental protection. Bamboo plantation along coal transport roads and on the edges of mines will help in minimising dust pollution.
Extraction of sand from overburden (OB) for use as construction and stowing material is another unique initiative promoting sustainable development through gainful utilisation of wastes generated during mining.
A massive capital expenditure investment plan on activities related to sustainable development in next five years has been made.
The investment includes expenditure on mining equipment, setting up of solar plants, surface coal gasification, first mile connectivity projects and on all other out of box activities for environmental protection.
All these activities will pave way in next five years for benchmarking a much better sustainable development effort by coal industry on economic, environmental and social fronts. PTI SID MKJ
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI