On December 16, 2019, The Ministry of Coal has decided to create Sustainable Development Cell (SDC) with the aim to promote coal mining in an environmentally sustainable manner in India & to address environmental concerns during the decommissioning/closure of mines.Key Points:
i.In a scenario where private players are expected to play an increasingly significant role,this move gains significance in future.
ii.Terms of Reference(ToR):
The mitigation measures that are taken by the coal companies will be monitored by the cell & it will mentor the companies regarding the ways to maximize the utilization of available resources in a sustainable way.
Functioning as a ministry-level nodal point, SDC will work on beautification and creation of eco parks in the reclaimed areas that will promote tourism for recreational purposes. At present, India’s coal mining areas spread over 2,550 sq kms and plans are to extend these areas further.
It will also create the future policy framework for the environmental mitigation measures (water sprinkling, dust suppression methods, noise barriers etc.) including the Mine closure Fund.
The cell mandates to Collect the data regarding present quantity, quality, surface runoff, drainage of mine water, future availability of water collected in UG(Underground) coal mines etc, and should analyse it on a GIS (geographic information system )based system to prepare model Coal Mine Water Management Plans (CMWMP).
About Coal ministry:
Headquarters– New Delhi
Minister responsible– Pralhad Joshi