Coal ministry finalising robust mine closure framework
COAL & MINING

Coal ministry finalising robust mine closure framework

The Ministry of Coal is in the process of reaching a robust mine closure framework with a focus on three major features of institutional governance, people and communities and environmental reclamation and land repurposing on the principles of just transition.

The Ministry is in discussion with the World Bank for getting assistance and support in this program. Broad experience of the World Bank in managing mine closure cases in many nations will be extremely advantageous and promote the adoption of the best practices and measures in the handling of mine closure cases.

A Preliminary Project Report (PPR) for the aimed engagement with the World Bank has been submitted to the Finance Ministry for required permissions.

The process of repurposing of closed mines sites has already begun by the Sustainable Development cell of the Ministry of Coal. Many rounds of meetings have been conducted with coal firms and the Coal Controller Office to address different features relating to the envisioned program. Inter-Ministerial consultations have also been done with ministries related and NITI Aayog to get their opinions and suggestions.

As of now, the Indian Coal sector is doing its best to meet the country’s energy demand by expanding coal generation and taking many initiatives at the same time towards choosing a path of sustainable development with importance on care for the environment and the host community.

The Indian coal sector is relatively new to the idea of systematic mine closure. Mine closure guidelines were first issued in 2009, re-issued in 2013 and are still evolving. Since coal mining in India had begun long back, the coalfields are replete with many legacy mines remaining unused for long.

Additionally, mines are closing and will close in future also because of reasons like reserves exhaustion, adverse geo-mining conditions, safety concerns. These mine sites must not only be made safe and environmentally stable but, the continuity of livelihood should be guaranteed for those who were directly or indirectly reliant on the mines.

Additionally, reclaimed lands will be repurposed for the economic advantage of the community and state involving tourism, sports, forestry, agriculture, horticulture, townships.

The Ministry of Coal has envisioned building an all-inclusive comprehensive India-wide mine closure framework to include legacy mines, recently closed mines and mine closures scheduled to happen in the short term.

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Also read: Centre enables 50% sale of coal from captive mines

The Ministry of Coal is in the process of reaching a robust mine closure framework with a focus on three major features of institutional governance, people and communities and environmental reclamation and land repurposing on the principles of just transition. The Ministry is in discussion with the World Bank for getting assistance and support in this program. Broad experience of the World Bank in managing mine closure cases in many nations will be extremely advantageous and promote the adoption of the best practices and measures in the handling of mine closure cases. A Preliminary Project Report (PPR) for the aimed engagement with the World Bank has been submitted to the Finance Ministry for required permissions. The process of repurposing of closed mines sites has already begun by the Sustainable Development cell of the Ministry of Coal. Many rounds of meetings have been conducted with coal firms and the Coal Controller Office to address different features relating to the envisioned program. Inter-Ministerial consultations have also been done with ministries related and NITI Aayog to get their opinions and suggestions. As of now, the Indian Coal sector is doing its best to meet the country’s energy demand by expanding coal generation and taking many initiatives at the same time towards choosing a path of sustainable development with importance on care for the environment and the host community. The Indian coal sector is relatively new to the idea of systematic mine closure. Mine closure guidelines were first issued in 2009, re-issued in 2013 and are still evolving. Since coal mining in India had begun long back, the coalfields are replete with many legacy mines remaining unused for long. Additionally, mines are closing and will close in future also because of reasons like reserves exhaustion, adverse geo-mining conditions, safety concerns. These mine sites must not only be made safe and environmentally stable but, the continuity of livelihood should be guaranteed for those who were directly or indirectly reliant on the mines. Additionally, reclaimed lands will be repurposed for the economic advantage of the community and state involving tourism, sports, forestry, agriculture, horticulture, townships. The Ministry of Coal has envisioned building an all-inclusive comprehensive India-wide mine closure framework to include legacy mines, recently closed mines and mine closures scheduled to happen in the short term. Image SourceAlso read: Centre enables 50% sale of coal from captive mines

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