The government has put a major thrust on sustainable development in coal mining and is taking multi-pronged action on both environmental & social fronts. Ministry of Coal has moved forward with a comprehensive Sustainable Development Plan and has initiated its speedy implementation. The primary focus is on making an immediate social impact through Out of Box (OoB) measures besides regular environmental monitoring and mitigation during the mining operations. These OoB measures include the use of surplus Mine Water for irrigation & drinking purpose in and around mining areas, extraction & use of Sand from Overburden (OB), promoting Eco-Mine Tourism, encouraging Bamboo Plantation, etc.
Utilization of Mine Water
The topmost priority is being given to gainful utilization of Mine Water for irrigation &providing treated water for drinking to the rural population in & around the command area of mining subsidiaries of CIL, SCCL & NLCIL. The 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 total mine water leaving a substantial volume for community use. Some of the subsidiaries of CIL are already providing mine water for irrigation purposes & drinking water to nearby villages. A detailed mine wise plan has been prepared for all the coal/lignite companies for maximizing the supply of mine water to nearby villages in their command areas.
10 new Eco-Parks in different mining areas are under different stages of development in various subsidiaries of CIL, SCCL & NLCIL and will be completed in the next 2 years. Coal companies have already developed 15 eco-parks in various coalfields. The Sooner Eco Park of WCL near Nagpur is running the Eco-Mine Tourism Circuit, a first of its kind in India, in collaboration with MTDC where people can visit and see the mining operation of both Opencast &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 minimizing dust pollution.
Towards the use of renewable energy, CIL has set a target to establish 3 GW of Solar PV projects by FY24 to become self-reliant in electricity. In addition, 1 mega SPV Project with 1000 MW capacity will be set up in joint collaboration of CIL & NLCIL with an investment of Rs. 4000 Cr.