Coal/lignite PSUs have not only enhanced their production level over the years to meet the rising energy demand of the country but also shown their sensitivity and care towards native environment by adopting various mitigation measures including reclamation of mined out areas and extensive plantation in and around coal bearing areas.

Green Initiatives of coal/lignite PSUs

Returning the land disturbed by mining to stable and productive post-mining land uses is fundamental to responsible environmental stewardship. This means that the activities like ecological reclamation of mined out land and overburden dumps, plantation in and around mines, avenue plantation, and restoration of flora and fauna must go side by side along with mining with an aim to leave a lighter mining footprint after the closure of mining.

Coal/Lignite PSUs have been making constant and sincere efforts to minimize the footprints of coal mining through sustained reclamation and afforestation of areas in and around its operating mines.The reclamation activities are being carried out in various mines as per well-designed and approved mine closure plans, which carrydetailed provisions with regard toProgressive as well asFinal Mine Closure activities.

Mined out areas, OB dumps and other disturbed areas are concurrently reclaimed as soon as they get delinked from active mining zone. Top soil is segregated and stored in clearly demarcated area for use within the mine as soon the backfilling and concurrent reclamation starts. Three tier biological reclamation in both external and internal dumps is undertaken through expert agencies i.e. State Forest Development Corporations. Species for biological reclamation are selected in consultation with expert agencies like SFDC, ICFRE, NEERI etc.

Steps taken for effective and sustainable plantation at Nigahi OC of NCL
Steps taken for effective and sustainable plantation at Nigahi OC of NCL

 

Green cover on reclaimed OB dump of JVR OC-II of SCCL
Green cover on reclaimed OB dump of JVR OC-II of SCCL
Plantation on Gevra OB Dump of SECL
Plantation on Gevra OB Dump of SECL
Plantation on OB Dump of Piparwar OC, CCL
Plantation on OB Dump of Piparwar OC, CCL
Plantation on Vacant areas in Ramagundam OC of SCCL
Plantation on Vacant areas in Ramagundam OC of SCCL

In addition to bio-reclamation of mined out areas, green belt is also created around the source of air pollution like mine, infrastructure and roads to reduce air pollution. Green belt is also provided around the mine and residential colony for noise attenuation.

Road Side Plantation – Gevra OC of SECL
Road Side Plantation – Gevra OC of SECL
Green belt around mine infrastructure areas – Nigahi OC of NCL
Green belt around mine infrastructure areas – Nigahi OC of NCL

Satellite Surveillance for land reclamation

Reclamation of mined out areas is important for sustainable development. Emphasis is being laid on proper reclamation which includes both technical and biological reclamation as well as mine closure. Satellite surveillance for land reclamation is being given the requisite thrust in order to assess the progressive status of reclamation and to take up remedial measures, if any, required for environmental protection.

In the year 2020-21, total 111 mines/clusters of CIL were selected for monitoring based on satellite data. Till December 2020, satellite data based Image Analysis of 108 mines/clusters [51 (more than 5 mcm) and 67 (less than 5 mcm)] have been completed. The satellite surveillance of progressive reclamation activities in all 20 opencast mines of SCCL andall 5 opencast mines of NLCIL has been carried out.

Satellite based monitoring of Dipka OC, SECL
Satellite based monitoring of Dipka OC, SECL

Creation of Green Cover

Till Dec 2020, coal/lignite PSUs have brought 56,000 Ha land under green cover by plantation of about 135 million trees thus creating carbon sink of about 2.8 Lakh Ton of CO2 equivalent/Year ( Considering 5 Ton/Ha/year basis).

Coal/lignite PSUs have envisaged to bring about 20,000 Ha of addition area (in and around coalfields) under plantation by 2030, thus enhancing the carbon sink to around 4 lakh Ton of CO2 equivalent/Year