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Sustainable Development Cell


What’s in news?

  • Coal Ministry to set up “Sustainable Development Cell” for mining to address environmental concerns.

Key Data’s:

  • The Ministry of Coal has decided to establish a ‘Sustainable Development Cell’ in order to promote environmentally sustainable coal mining in the country and address environmental concerns during the decommissioning or closure of mines.
  • This move gains significance as the new private entities are now going to form a significant part of the future, a set of guidelines for proper rehabilitation of mines need to be evolved in tune with global best practices.

Sustainable Development Cell:

  • Roles
    • The Sustainable Development cell (SDC) will
      • advise,
      • mentor,
      • plan and
  • monitor the mitigation measures taken by the coal companies for maximising the utilisation of available resources in a sustainable way, minimising the adverse impact of mining and mitigating it for further ecosystem services and will act as nodal point at Ministry of Coal level in this matter.
  • This cell will also formulate the future policy framework for the environmental mitigation measures including the Mine closure Fund.


  • The SDC will adopt a systemic approach, starting from collection of data, analysis of data, presentation of information, planning based on information; by domain experts, adoption of best practices, consultations, innovative thinking, site-specific approaches, knowledge sharing and dissemination and finally end with an aim to ease the lives of people and communities in general.
  • The cell will also do land amelioration and afforestation. In India approximately 2,550 sq km area is under different coal mines and there are plans to bring more areas under it. These land masses require both extensive and intensive amelioration measures.
  • The cell will collect all the baseline data/maps related to different coal mines like total mines/block areas, OB dumps areas, water filled voids, reclaimed areas, unutilized areas, plantations from various coal companies.
  • These will be updated at regular intervals. All GIS based activities will be carried out with active participation of Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd.
  • It will also identify the activities to be taken up for creation of additional land suitable for plantation, stabilization of slope, soil treatment, creation of levelled land, dewatering as per timeline under Mine Closure Plan.
  • Thus the Sustainable Development Cell envisages to address the environment mitigation measures in a systemic manner and to provide a better environment to people working and residing in the vicinity of Mines.


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