Coal Sector Greening India's Barren Lands
COAL & MINING

Coal Sector Greening India's Barren Lands

India's coal sector is undertaking a significant environmental initiative by transforming 50,000 hectares of barren land into green forests. This monumental effort aligns with the country's commitment to sustainability and combating climate change.

State-run coal companies, known as Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), have been pivotal in this transformation. Over the last few years, these PSUs have planted millions of saplings across vast expanses of mined-out and degraded lands. The initiatives include diverse greening methods such as block plantation, avenue plantation, grassland creation, and even high-tech solutions like drone seeding in difficult terrains.

In the fiscal year 2023-24 alone, the coal sector surpassed its target by bringing over 2,734 hectares under green cover. This included the planting of over 51 lakh saplings and grassing over 372 hectares to stabilise soil and prevent erosion. Such efforts not only rehabilitate the land but also enhance local biodiversity, improve air quality, and contribute to the global carbon sink, which is crucial for mitigating climate change.

The greening drive supports India's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, aiming to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030 through increased forest and tree cover. This initiative also dovetails with the National Mission for a Green India, part of the country's larger climate action plan.

Beyond afforestation, the coal PSUs are developing eco-parks and promoting mine tourism, integrating 15 eco-parks into local tourism circuits and planning 19 more. These parks not only serve as recreational spots but also play a role in environmental education and conservation.

Overall, India's coal sector is demonstrating a balanced approach to meeting energy demands while prioritising environmental stewardship. These efforts highlight a sustainable model of development where coal production coexists with substantial ecological restoration, benefiting both the environment and local communities.

India's coal sector is undertaking a significant environmental initiative by transforming 50,000 hectares of barren land into green forests. This monumental effort aligns with the country's commitment to sustainability and combating climate change. State-run coal companies, known as Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), have been pivotal in this transformation. Over the last few years, these PSUs have planted millions of saplings across vast expanses of mined-out and degraded lands. The initiatives include diverse greening methods such as block plantation, avenue plantation, grassland creation, and even high-tech solutions like drone seeding in difficult terrains. In the fiscal year 2023-24 alone, the coal sector surpassed its target by bringing over 2,734 hectares under green cover. This included the planting of over 51 lakh saplings and grassing over 372 hectares to stabilise soil and prevent erosion. Such efforts not only rehabilitate the land but also enhance local biodiversity, improve air quality, and contribute to the global carbon sink, which is crucial for mitigating climate change. The greening drive supports India's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, aiming to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030 through increased forest and tree cover. This initiative also dovetails with the National Mission for a Green India, part of the country's larger climate action plan. Beyond afforestation, the coal PSUs are developing eco-parks and promoting mine tourism, integrating 15 eco-parks into local tourism circuits and planning 19 more. These parks not only serve as recreational spots but also play a role in environmental education and conservation. Overall, India's coal sector is demonstrating a balanced approach to meeting energy demands while prioritising environmental stewardship. These efforts highlight a sustainable model of development where coal production coexists with substantial ecological restoration, benefiting both the environment and local communities.

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