State-owned coal firms taking steps to make mining sustainable: Joshi

From planting saplings to development of eco-parks, state-owned coal companies are taking various measures to reclaim abandoned mines, infusing multi-core investments, coal and mines minister said

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Photo: Bloomberg

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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From planting saplings to development of eco-parks, state-owned coal companies are taking various measures to reclaim abandoned mines, infusing multi-core investments, coal and mines minister Pralhad Joshi said.
Other initiatives of the ministry include adoption of modern technologies like gasification of coal, installation of renewable energy projects, conservation of water bodies etc, the minister told PTI in an interview.
"Our Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has set a vision to make India net zero by 2070. In line with his vision, our PSUs are taking various efforts to make the coal mining a sustainable exercise. We are doing our bit for climate change issue. They are spending thousands of crores to meet this goal," he said ahead of the World Environment Day on June 5.
Coal India Ltd (CIL) along with with its eight subsidiary companies and NLC India Ltd function under the administrative control of the coal ministry.
Joshi, who is also the minister for parliamentary affairs, added that "from 2014-15 to 2022-23, we have increased the green cover over 16,262 hectares of land, planting about 37.03 million saplings".
Public sector units have drawn a plan to develop a green cover area of 2,500 hectares (ha) planting 50 lakh saplings in the ongoing 2023-24 fiscal, taking the total count to over 42 million trees.

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He further said that around 30 eco-parks have been developed on barren lands near mineral-less mines across the country and another 30 new eco-parks will be developed in next 3-4 years in the coal bearing states like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha with the total estimated cost of around Rs 200 crore.
On coal gasification, Joshi said the government has last year announced earmarking of Rs 6,000 crore for adoption of the technology where emission is comparatively less.
Coal gasification strategies consist of major components such as making coal available for coal gasification projects, identifying suitable coal gasification technologies including carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS).
"In order to ensure availability of coal to these projects, coal ministry has also issued directions to CIL & SCCL to create a separate auction window to ensure source-specific long-term coal linkage for coal gasification projects," he said.
In addition to utilising the mine water pumped out from their mines for own use, the state-owned coal companies are also supplying more than 3,700 lakh kilo litres (LKL) of treated mine water for community purposes, benefitting over 17.7 lakh people in 981 villages of 9 states every year. The water is also used for irrigation purposes.
Promoting renewable energy, coal companies are going for both rooftop solar and ground mounted solar projects, particularly in some of the reclaimed mining areas.
As on March 31, 2023, coal/lignite public sector units have installed solar capacity of about 1,605 MW and windmills of 51 MW. The target is to install 5,560 MW of renewable capacity by FY26.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Jun 04 2023 | 12:26 PM IST

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