(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) There are plans to enhance the production of coal in the country to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2029-30 to meet the growing demand for the fuel, Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi told the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
For the smooth transit of coal to end-users, steps are also being taken to improve evacuation infrastructure through new rail projects and to mechanized coal loading through First Mile Connectivity (FMC) projects, he said in the written reply.
The government has initiated several steps to ramp up domestic coal production in order to achieve self-reliance.
Some of the major initiatives undertaken include Single Window Clearance, amendment of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 to allow captive mines to sell up to 50 per cent of their annual production after meeting the requirement of the end use plants, production through MDO mode, increasing use of mass production technologies, new projects and expansion of existing projects, and auction of coal blocks to private companies/PSUs for commercial mining.
The Government has also allowed 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for commercial mining.
Coal India Limited has planned to enhance its coal production through expansion of mines (brownfield projects), opening of new mines (greenfield projects), mechanization and modernization of its mines, both UG & OC.
The minister also said that the government was ensuring that environmental norms are being complied with.
Before opening new mine/project, prior Environmental Clearance and Forestry Clearance have to be secured from various regulatory agencies.
All mines also have to secure, NoC from Central Ground Water Authority for extraction of ground water before commencement of mining operation.
The regular environmental monitoring with respect to ambient air quality, effluent quality, noise level monitoring and ground water (both levels and quality) are monitored and reports are submitted to the Ministry Environment and Forests as well as State Pollution Control Boards and Central Ground Water Board.
Various carbon emission reduction measures are undertaken which are regularly augmented. These include measures to control air and water pollution and steps for land reclamation.
Besides, third party evaluation of compliance of environment control conditions and environmental performance Indexing, the minister added.
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