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Expansion of coal mines

In order to enhance the coal production to meet the country’s energy requirement, Ministry of Coal requested MoEF&CC to consider expansion of mine without public consultation upto 50% of their production capacity. Considering this request, MoEF&CC issued an OM dated 7th May, 2022 regarding special dispensation for consideration of Environment Clearance (EC) from 40% to 50% expansion in coal mining projects, within the existing premises/mine lease area, without additional land acquisition. This special dispensation was provided to only those mines, which have already obtained 40% dispensation based on earlier reforms provided by MoEF&CC. Under the said OM, 10 Environmental Clearances have been granted so far, which results to add additional capacity of 9.65 MTPA. List of these project is placed at Annexure.

While granting the ECs to these projects, which are falling within and outside the severely polluted area, following additional environmental safeguards have been provided as part of EC condition-

  1. Transportation of coal by rail/conveyor belt
  2. Encourage use of cleaner fuels for trucks, If the roads required to be widened upto nearest railway siding, the same be constructed to avoid traffic congestion.
  3. Installation of continuous monitoring station for ambient air quality and also for continuous effluent quality in Effluent Treatment Plant. Data so generated shall be linked with respective SPCB and CPCB websites.
  4. Reuse/recycle of treated wastewater shall be implemented as feasible with latest technology. Zero liquid discharge concept may be adopted.
  5. Increase green belt cover by 40% of the total land area beyond the permissible requirement of 33%, wherever feasible.
  6. Greenbelt outside the project premises such as plantation in vacant areas, social forestry, etc. to be implemented.
  7. Assessment of carrying capacity of mine & road transportation as per the State Plan/instructions.
  8. A detailed water harvesting plan to be prepared for water augmentation.
  9. Installation of Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) for generated domestic wastewater and should meet for discharge standards.
  10. Implementation of more stringent norms for management of hazardous waste like oil container, ETP sludge etc.
  11. Submission of Certified Compliance Report of the EC granted for total 40% expansion within six months alongwith additional capacity beyond 40% (i.e 10 % increase) on PARIVESH portal. Accordingly, Ministry shall ascertain the adequacy of the proposed environmental safeguards.
  12. Environmental quality parameters arising out of proposed expansion shall be within the prescribed norms and the same shall be maintained as per prescribed norms
  13. Necessary prior consent for enhanced capacity from State Pollution Control Board under Air and Water Act

Further, prior to OM dated 7th May, 2022, MoEF&CC separately has issued another OM dated 11th April, 2022, wherein Expansion in production capacity in phased manner upto 50% expansion projects wherein relaxation was given to prepare EIA-EMP without process of public consultation upto 40% expansion and with public consultation for capacity expansion from 40% to 50%.

Annexure

List of Environment Clearance granted under OM dated 7th May, 2022 regarding special dispensation for consideration of Environment Clearance (EC) from 40% to 50% expansion in coal mining projects –

Sr. No. Project Name Company State EC Granted on Project in MTPA EC granted for (MTPA)
1 Manikpur Opencast Expansion Project South Eastern Coalfields Limited Chhattisgarh 26-05-2022 From 4.9 to 5.25 MTPA 0.35
2 Expansion of Singhori opencast coal mining project Western Coalfields Limited Maharashtra 25-05-2022 From 1.12 to 1.20 MTPA 0.08
3 Dinesh (Makardhokra-III) opencast coal mining project (Phase-I) Western Coalfields Limited Maharashtra 26-05-2022 From 4.2 to 4.52 MTPA 0.32
4 Lakhanpur Opencast Expansion Project Mahanadi Coalfields Limited Orissa 30-05-2022 From 21 to 22.5 MTPA 1.5
5 Kulda Expansion Opencast Project Mahanadi Coalfileds Limited Orissa 25-05-2022 From 19.6 to 21 MTPA 1.4
6 Bhubaneswari OC Mahanadi Coalfileds Limited Orissa 11.07.2022 28 to 30 2
7 Amlohri OC Northern Coalfields Limited Madhya Pradesh 11.07.2022 14 to 15 1
8 Khadia OC Northern Coalfields Limited Uttar Pradesh 09.07.2022 14 to 15 1
9 Nigahi OC Northern Coalfields Limited Madhya Pradesh 09.07.2022 21 to 22.5 1.5
10 Krishnashila OC Northern Coalfields Limited Uttar Pradesh 09.07.2022 7 to 7.5 0.5
        Total   9.65

This information was given by the Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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