Amid the gloomy scenario of fall in coal production and demand following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) has found some ray of hope with the industry taking to the path of recovery and an expert appraisal committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) recommending environmental clearance to the Prakasham Khani opencast coal mine.
The management of SCCL recently instructed general managers of all its coal mines to step up production and despatch to 1.3 lakh tonnes, put together, a day as the demand for coal from the industry is picking up. Similarly, the management has fixed the target of 1.5 lakh tonnes per day production and dispatch in October and up to 1.8 lakh tonnes a day in November.
As a complement to the efforts to bring back normalcy in the production and dispatch of coal, theSingareni Collieries Company Ltd has got the green nod for Prakasham Khani opencast coal mine, an amalgamation of Manuguru OC-II Expansion and Manuguru OC-IV Extension , with 9.75 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) capacity in the mine lease area of 2,402.40 hectares in Manuguru village, 2,214.84 ha is forest land and 187.56 ha of non-forest land, of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district.
The proposal came for appraisal before the expert appraisal committee in February but was deferred for want of information on several aspects – clarification of land details and forest clearance for the land involved, compliance report on installation of conveyor belt from the pit-head to coal handling plant (CHP), detailed production plans for a nearby rivulet of Godavari, overburden dumping plans and others.
After compliance of all issues raised by the expert panel in February, the proposal came up for appraisal against last month and after detailed deliberations the committee recommended environmental clearance subject to the compliance with some additional specific conditions such as third party monitoring of air quality at identified locations to arrive at impact of the expansion, transportation of coal from the CHP through mechanised covered trucks for 5 years and no transportation by trucks after five years by completing the proposed railway siding without any delay.
Further, the appraisal committee has asked the State Pollution Control Board ensure that with the proposed coal transportation by road, air quality remained within the ambient air quality standards while considering consent to operate for the project, provision of mist type sprinklers to control production of dust at source, the crusher and in-pit belt conveyors and measures to control dust and other fugitive emissions all along the roads with sufficient fixed type water sprinklers, development of wind barrier wall and vertical greenery system at loading and unloading points.