Coal India afforesting more than double the land it mines on: Coal secretary Anil Swarup

Often criticized for being engaged in environmentally hazardous mining activities, state-owned Coal India is afforesting about two and a half times of forest land it conducts mining on so as to minimize impact on land and environment.

“Coal India has so far used 13,500 ha of forest land and created green cover on 34,316 ha implying 2.4 ha of afforestation per hectare of forest land diverted,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup told ET Energy World.

The coal behemoth has created an escrow fund with Rs. 2,335.76 crore for sustainable mine closure, according to A.K Debnath, Chairman of Central Mine Planning and Design Institute which is Coal India’s consulting arm. He added that so far reclamation was carried out by utilizing own funds of projects.

The Kolkata-based miner has also paid Rs. 1,754.13 crore as net present value and compensatory afforestation charges of Rs. 575.91 crore to the Forest Department, so far, he said.
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