Towards sustainable development: planning surface coal mine closures in India

Srikanth, Raman and Nathan, Hippu Salk Kristle (2018) Towards sustainable development: planning surface coal mine closures in India. Contemporary Social Science: Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences, 13 (1). pp. 30-43.

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Abstract: Coal is the major source of India's electricity today, accounting for 59 per cent of its electricity generation capacity and 75 per cent of the electrical energy generated. Given that 63 per cent of the power generation capacity added in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012–2017) was coal-based, coal is set to remain the most staple source of electricity for India in the foreseeable future. Of the coal produced in India, more than 90 per cent is dispatched from surface or opencast mines, with potentially harmful effects on the environment, due to loss of forests and habitats, disruption of biodiversity and of local communities, and associated damage to agriculture, water resources and local air quality. Acknowledging these adverse environmental impacts, the Government of India has mandated the restoration of mining areas post mine closure to create a ‘self-sustaining ecosystem’, while optimising the use of mined-out land for the benefit of local communities. Within this context, the article reviews India's surface coal mine closure policies, regulatory regimes and operating practices with reference to best practices for reclamation and restoration in selected major coal-producing countries. The article identifies the shortcomings in India's policies and suggests strategies and measures to remedy them.
Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright belongs to the Publisher
Keywords: Opencast coal mining, mine closure, self-sustaining ecosystem, mine reclamation and restoration, unified coal mine regulator
Subjects: School of Natural and Engineering Sciences > Energy
Programmes > Energy and Environment Research Programme
Divisions: Schools > Natural Sciences and Engineering
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2017 07:17
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2018 07:00
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/215820...
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    Funders: Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India [SB/IR/NIAS/2016] funded the first author's travel for discussions with key stakeholders involved in the mine closure process in India
    Projects: UNSPECIFIED
    URI: http://eprints.nias.res.in/id/eprint/1367

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