COAL INDIA Mining With Green Fingers

Coal India, one of the largest planters in the world spending more than Rs 159 crores on community and environment in the last decade proves that mining can be done with green fingers.

CIL which has an extensive tree plantation programme along with its subsidiaries have planted over 73 millions of plants since 1993-94 covering an estimated land area of over 32,000 hectares. It also undertakes avenue plantation, plantation on the Overburden (OB) dumps, around mines, residential colonies and available land in existing as well as new projects by CIL.

The company as a policy minimizes the impact of mining and leaves behind rehabilitated landscapes and healthy ecosystems.
CIL brings back the lost greenery by continuous forestation and other reclamation activities and uses technique such as Satellite Surveillance to measure their progress. The technique gives CIL idea about areas of backfilled zone, plantation status / social forestry, position of OB dumps, active mining areas, water bodies, status of resettlement / settlement etc.

It also assesses the remedial measures required for land reclamation/ restoration and can utilize the reclaimed land for larger socio-economic benefits in planned way. The method helps CIL to discover that in all Opencast (OC) mining projects, the plantation area, green coverage and backfilled area have increased.

Out of the total leasehold area of 589.19 km2 of 49 OC projects, only 284.51 km2 (48.28%) has been mined so far. Also, 79% mined out area has been reclaimed out of which 52.39% is re-vegetated and the balance 21% area is under active mining. 3.48% area (32.98 km2) of land reclamation has increased in the year 2009 w.r.t year 2008.

The data also infers an increase of 1.97 % area (21 km2) of green cover in the 49 OC mines in the year 2009 w.r.t year 2008.
The Forest Survey of India 2009 shows an increase of only 0.23 % area of green cover all over India during the last two years. Due to massive plantation done by Coal India, Green cover area in 49 OC projects is 52.39% of mined out areas as compared to 23.84% green cover in India indicated by the Forest Survey of India 2009.

CIL, after OC mining, replaces the overburden by grading and covering it with topsoil, fertilizing and seeding the area. The land reclamation helps restore the biological balance of the area and prevent erosion. The land is then be used for croplands, wildlife habitats, recreation, or as sites for commercial development. Coal India, a schedule ‘A’ ‘Navratna’ public sector undertaking under Ministry of Coal, doesn’t believe in doing mining with a singular economic consideration.

It has the mission to produce the planned quantity of coal, efficiently and economically with due regard to safety, conservation and quality takes all possible steps to not let these OC mines be scars on the landscape. Thus, Coal India gives priority to Reclamation & Plantation along with providing quality coal.

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