SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FOR COAL SECTOR
- Government has put major thrust on sustainable development in coal mining and is taking multi-pronged action on both environmental & social fronts.
- The Ministry of Coal has undertaken several out-of-the-box measures besides regular environmental monitoring and mitigation during mining operation in order to sustainably develop the coal sector.
Some of the measures are described below.
- Huge volume of mine water released during mining operation is partially utilized for internal consumption by coalmines for providing drinking water in their colonies, dust suppression, industrial use, plantation, etc.
- The internal consumption constitutes about 45% of the total mine water leaving a substantial volume for community use. A plan has been drawn up for the maximisation of mine water supply to nearby villages.
- Coal companies have already developed 15 eco-parks in various coalfields.
- Ten new eco-parks are in different stages of development.
- Extraction of sand from Over Burden (OB) for use as construction & stowing material will not only help in availability of cheaper sand for house & other construction but will also minimize the land required for OB dump in future projects.
- This initiative also lowers the adverse footprint of riverbed mining of sand.
- Under this measure, coal is being transported through conveyor belt from Coal Handling Plants to Silo for loading. This process eliminates movement of coal through road and thus not only minimizes the environmental pollution, but also reduces the carbon footprint.
- Coal companies have set up solar power plants towards achieving their set targets of renewable energy production.
- Bio-Reclamation and Tree Plantation: Bio-Reclamation and massive tree plantation has been one of the key thrust areas of coal companies in promoting environmental sustainability.
SOURCE: PIB,THE ECONOMICS TIMES