Coal ministry issues draft mining plan guidelines for consultation

New Delhi, June 20 (UNI) The Ministry of Coal (MoC) has revised the framework of preparation of Mining Plan, a pivotal step to regulate and advance India’s coal mining sector and issued draft guidelines on Mining Plan for consultation.

The detailed guidelines under stakeholder consultation aim to facilitate an inclusive and comprehensive review process, ensuring that all relevant perspectives are considered. The stakeholders have been asked to submit their comments by July 1.

The guidelines serve as a strategic blueprint for coal mining companies, facilitating effective planning, execution, and monitoring of mining activities while upholding stringent environmental, social, and safety standards.

The primary objective is to optimize coal resource extraction through sustainable practices that minimize waste and enhance operational efficiency.

The ministry’s strategic approach includes advanced technological integration to streamline operations, thereby achieving environmental and economic sustainability.

Safety and health measures constitute a cornerstone of the revised guidelines, ensuring the protection of mining personnel and local communities. Robust safety protocols and infrastructure are imperative to safeguard all stakeholders involved in coal mining operations.

The revised draft guidelines also focus on responsible mining practices that bolster the coal industry while prioritizing ecosystem preservation. This involves mandatory inclusion of restoration, remediation, and regeneration measures in mining plans to ensure sustainable natural resource management.

By minimizing environmental impacts, addressing community concerns, and promoting continuous improvement in water quality monitoring, the guidelines aim to foster a more sustainable and ethical approach to coal mining.

Key reforms introduced in the revised draft Mining Plan & Mine Closure Guidelines include, enhanced flexibility for minor modifications in Mining Plans, with major changes requiring approval from the Coal Controller Organization (CCO).

Provision for calendar plan flexibility to accommodate increased annual coal production beyond scheduled targets and mandatory reporting of other commercially valuable minerals found within leasehold areas to State Governments.

Preference for blast-free and continuous coal-cutting technologies in mining methods, the draft Guidelines said adding implementation of comprehensive Safety Management Plans as per Coal Mines Regulations, 2017, including mandatory safety audits.

Integration of fly ash filling protocols into mining plans to address related environmental concerns.

Requirement for drone surveys and processed outputs for comprehensive five-year compliance reports of Mining Plans. And inclusion of sand for stowing in mines within revised guidelines.

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