Madhya Pradesh: Forest Cover Enhanced By Coal Mining, Reveals Satellite Data

Snapshot

Jayant Opencast Coal Project in Singrauli District of Madhya Pradesh.

It operates in about 3,200 hectares with an annual coal production capacity of 25 Million Tonnes. Mining operation in the Project started way back in the year 1975-76.

The satellite data of the Project revealed more green cover than the pre-mining forest cover.

 

Despite the notion that coal mining degrades the land, new projects of Coal India Ltd. (CIL), under the Ministry of Coal, are reclaiming land to its original shape and enhancing green cover along with coal mining activity.

All new coal projects have a mandatory well-laid mine closure plan that, apart from other activities, becomes a guiding factor for restoring land to its original condition after completion of mining activity.

Action on such restoration begins right from the start of the Project, wherein backfilling of the void by overburden becomes a significant activity after mining, and simultaneous plantation over the land becomes an essential activity for early biological restoration.

Emphasis is to have a simultaneous backfilling of land after opencast Coal Mining operation and dense plantation thereon to maintain environmental equilibrium.

Coal Mining Enhances The Forest Cover

“Jayant Opencast Coal Project in Singrauli District of Madhya Pradesh, one of the largest projects of CIL, is forging ahead with a mission of looking beyond coal mining with land restoration and enhancing green cover day by day,” the Ministry of Coal said.

“This has helped in lowering down the effect of pollution substantially and has also helped in increasing Carbon offset. The Project is under Northern Coalfields Ltd. (NCL), a Subsidiary of CIL,” it added.

Jayant Coal Project operates in about 3,200 hectares with an annual coal production capacity of 25 Million Tonnes. Mining operation in the Project started way back in the year 1975-76.

Coal produced from the Project is linked to Singrauli Super Thermal Power Station of NTPC located at Shaktinagar, Uttar Pradesh, which has a 2,000 MW capacity. Coal is being transported to power plants through a dedicated Merry-Go-Round (MGR) system.

During a detailed review of environmental and forest clearance of Jayant Project by Secretary (Coal), Ministry of Coal in New Delhi, the satellite data of the Project presented by NCL revealed more green cover than the pre-mining forest cover, which is an outstanding achievement for any mega Coal project operating in large leasehold area.

The pre-mining forest cover was around 1,180 hectares which have now increased to 1,419 hectares of green cover as per the Land Reclamation Report based on Satellite Data for the year 2020.

This green cover is about 45 per cent of the total leasehold area of the Project. The target is to have over 2,600 hectares of the area covered under green cover after the closure of the mine, which will be more than double the pre-mining stage.

In line with the Green Cover Mission, the massive plantation is being carried out every year in and around the Project, including reclaimed area and overburden (OB) dump areas.