Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi in a written reply informed the Rajya Sabha about the eco-friendly uses of abandoned coal mines in the country. The 293 abandoned mines are now being used for dumping or filling of fly ash into the worked-out area for suitable reclamation, development of eco and mine tourism parks, afforestation, pisciculture, as a source to supply of drinking water and other domestic use and generation of sand from overburden of opencast mines at few places.
These closed 293 mines, 284 Coal India Limited (CIL) and nine Singsreni Collieries Coal Company Limited (SCCL) mines, have been closed due to the depletion of the reserve, spontaneous heating, safety reasons, inundation, adverse techno-economics, financial losses, adverse geo-mining conditions, surface constraints, conversion to opencast mine, etc.
The CIL is also exploring the possibilities to develop ground-mounted solar power projects in its suitable decoaled area.
SCCL is taking up mine closure activities such as extensive plantation on overburden dumps and vacant lands as part of post-closure reclamation works, developing agricultural fields, eco-parks, cultivation 0f fruit-bearing and vegetable crops for the benefit of local communities, and creating water bodies in the final voids, which augment groundwater recharge and serve as a source of water for agriculture. It is proposed to fill the voids of Medipalli OCP after mine closure by fly ash generated from NTPC or TSTPS Project, Telangana.