Coal ministry’s SDC to address environmental concerns

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New Delhi, 15 Dec (IANS) The Ministry of Coal will establish a sustainable development cell (SDC) aimed at promoting mining activity in an environmentally sustainable manner, the ministry said on Sunday.

The cell will also address environmental concerns that arise during the decommissioning or closure of mines.

In a scenario where private players are expected to play an increasingly significant role, the cell will look at evolving guidelines for proper rehabilitation of mines on a par with global standards.

On the anvil is a plan to create a sustainable mine tourism as well.

Apart from exploring the tourism potential of underground mines, the cell will work on beautification and creation of eco parks in the reclaimed areas that will promote tourism for recreational purposes. Currently, India’s coal mining areas span 2,550 sq kms and plans are afoot to extend these areas further.

Functioning as a ministry-level nodal point, SDC will advise, mentor, plan and monitor the mitigation measures that the coal companies undertake in maximising the sustainable usage of available resources, reducing the negative fallouts of mining and addressing it for further ecosystem services.

This cell will also formulate the future policy framework for measures to improve environmental mitigation measures including the Mine closure Fund.

–IANS

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