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RECLAMATION OF DEGRADED LAND: BIOLOGICAL & PHYSICAL

BIOLOGICAL & PHYSICAL

The total degraded land in the JCF, as estimated by CMPDIL in 1986, was 6,294 hectares, details of which are given below.

  1. Subsided area                    : 3,497    hectares
  2. Minefire area                     : 1,732    hectares
  3. External Spoil Dumps    :    641    hectares
  4. Old abandoned pits        :    434    hectares

Biological reclamation of degraded mining land by way of plantation was the first effort of BCCL towards tackling land degradation. Large-scale afforestation programme was started by BCCL since 1986.

BIOLOGICAL RECLAMATION

·     In the last 16 years BCCL has reclaimed 3460 hectares of degraded land through biological reclamation. The type wise land reclaimed are:

  • Subsided area                : 1998   hectares
  • Minefire area                :   615   hectares
  • Overburden dumps   :   556  hectares
  • Other areas                    :   291   hectares

·     Biological reclamation has been carried out mostly by large-scale plantation on subsided land, surface areas affected by fires and OB dumps, and so also in colonies and along the coalfield roads.

·     BCCL has planted more than 1.40 crores trees till date.

·     The plantation is done departmentally as well as through State Forest Deptts. of Bihar/ Jharkhand, and that of West Bengal.

·     Technical collaboration/ advice from experts of Jadavpur University, State Forest Department and other expert organisations is being sought regularly.

·     The tree plantation done during the last 17 years is given below:

Year               No .of saplings planted (lakhs)

1992-93                      8.00

1993-94                    10.00

1994-95                      3.00

1995-96                      0.86

1996-97                      3.92

1997-98                      6.94

1998-99                       0.20 (Dept.)

1999-2000                0.40 (Dept.)

2000-01                     0.47

2001-02                     0.20

2002-03                    6.95 (EMSC scheme)

2003-04                   0.06 (Dept.)

2004-05                  0.13 (Dept.)

2005-06                  0.16

2006-07                  2.00

2007-08                  0.10 (Dept)

2008-2009            0.12  (Deptt.)

2009-2010             0.12 (Deptt.)

·     Species planted : Chakundi, Peltoforum, Teak, Accacia, Gamhar, Subabool, Karanj, Neem, Bakain, Seesam, Bargad, Arjun, Siris, Jamun, Kathal, Anar, Shariffa, etc.

Development of Nursery:

·     Two captive nurseries with a capacity of 2 lakhs saplings per year in Jagjiwan Nagar and Koyla Nagar have been established to cater to the needs of the saplings to be planted in different Areas and Hqrs.

·     Technical collaboration/ advice from experts of Jadavpur University, State Forest Department and other expert organisations is being sought.

Success stories of  Biological reclamation

(i) Successful reclamation of fire areas are

  • Sendra Bansjora – Heavy green belt created
  • Gopalichack of PB Area – Successful plantation over reclaimed fire area
  • Lodna Area (behind Bhaga  club)

(ii)  OB Dumps

·     Successful plantation carried under adverse soil conditions with low nutrition value of OB dumps are Bhowrah, Kusunda, Ena, Sijua, Muraidih, Chanch_Victoria etc.

·     Levelling, sloping, dressing done and soil added in pits before plantation.

·     Selective species planted: Chakundi, Peltroforum, Acacia, Sisam, Teak, Gamhar, Bargad, Jack fruit etc.

(iii)  Mined Out Areas

·     Very successful reclamation of mined out areas carried out in Jhunkunder OCP and part of  Damagoria (Chaptoria).

·     Heavy green belts created with mixed plantation.

·     Ponds developed with fisheries.

·     Ecological park/ picnic spot developed.

(iv)  Subsided areas

·     Successful tree plantation carried out in subsided areas at Kustore, Bera, Chandmari, Bhalgora, Jealgora, Gaslitand, Katras, Govindpur, Putki-Bulihari etc.

·     Mixed species planted.

SCHEMES FOR RECLAMATION OF DEGRADED LAND IN BCCL

METHODOLOGY

The scheme includes physical and bio-reclamation of OB dumps, reclaimed fire areas and subsided areas. The sites have been selected where there are no immediate plans for the mining the underlying, seams and subsided areas.

During the first year, the preliminary jobs of survey demarcation, trenching etc. is done. Subsequently, nursery raising and soil conservation work is done. Further, the plantation work is done for the month of July-August after which weeding and hoeing is done during the 1st year. Constant protection/ guarding be provided by the Forest Department for maintaining these plantation area. Further weeding and hoeing and protection including replacement of casualties is done during the 2nd and 3rd years.

Tree species :   The trees planted depend on the availability of seeds, saplings and the local conditions. Since the areas are mostly difficult areas with low quality of soil and conditions, the species selected are hardy type and based on our earlier experience of plantation in these areas. Fruit plants like guave, jamun, bel sharifa, jackfruil etc. are also preferred wherever the soil conditions are favourable.

The main tree species proposed to be planted are :

·       Cassia siamea ( Chakundi )

·       Dalbergia sisoo ( Sisem)

·       Gmelina arberea ( Gamhar )

·       Peltrophorum Ferrugineum (Peltroforum)

·       Pongamia pinnate (Karanj)

·       Acacia Arabica (Acacia)

·       Albizzia lebeck (Siris)

·       Mehazedarach (Bakain)

·       Shorea rubusta (Sal)

·       Azadarichta indica(Neem)

·       Leucaena leucocephala (Babool)

·       Tectona grandosa (Teak) etc.

DETAILS OF PLANTATION DONE BY FOREST DEPARMENT IN 79 HA OF LAND         (2005-06)

Sl.
No.
Location Area
in ha.
No of Plants Type of Land
1. KARKENDH 25 62500 Overburden and surrounding Levelled Land
2. MAHESH PUR 06 15000 Levelled Land
3. KHARKHAREE 14 35000 Levelled Land
4. CHAITUDIH 22 55000 Levelled Land
5. NEW ASHKINAREE 12 30000 Levelled Land
TOTAL 79 197500

NEW PROPOSAL OF PLANTATION TO BE DONE BY FOREST DEPARMENT IN 137.40 HA OF DEGRADED LAND

Sl.
No.
Location/Area Area
in ha.
No of Plants Type of Land
1. BARORA 41.50 103750 Overburden
2. BLOCK-II 5.40 13500 Overburden
3. KATRAS 45.00 112500 Overburden
4. KUSUNDA 10.50 26250 Overburden
8. BASTACOLLA 20.50 51250 Overburden
10. CV 14.50 36250 Overburden
TOTAL 137.40 343750

Follwing species wise plantation out of above plantation has been proposed to be done

SPECIES %
BAMBOO TREES

AWLA TREES

KATAHAL

MANGO

JAMUN

20%

30%

30%

10%

10%

CSR ACTIVITIES :

CMD BCCL is keen on the issue of improvement of environment and  surrounding social life . The year 2010-11 has been declared as an year of “Environment and Plantation”.

Plantation

A plan has been chalked out to do plantation where the coal up to the combined seam has been fully exploited . These areas have been identified and to be planted with commercial trees in association with district forest officer.

The underground coal mining has been planned for the expoitation of coal below the combined seam with an aim for  reducing the land requirement and minimising environmental pollution.

For the plantation in villages in the non-coal bearing area ,  involment of society is being explored with the help of divisional forest officer under the social forestery schemes.

Development of Nursery

During the year 2010-11 there is programme for developing 15000 saplings mainly of fruit bearing type at Koylanager Nursery. Further there is proposal for developing 1 lakhs saplings at Koylanager Nursery is under process of approval.

Species of saplings (15000 nos)  are as under :

SL. NO Name of Saplings No. Of  Sapling
1. Guava 1500
2 Papya 1500
3 Sarifa 1000
4 Kathal 500
5 Awala 1500
6 Kaju 500
7 Anar 1000
8 Mango 2000
9 Bel 500
10 Jamun 500
11 Sahajan 500
12 Lemon 750
13 Arjun 500
14 Siris 500
15 Chakundi 500
16 Ashok 250
17 Gulmohar 250
18 Sagawan 250
19 Gambhar 250
20 Sisam 250
21 Karanj 500
Total 15000

16000 SAPLINGS HAVE BEEN PREPARED AND 11000 SAPLINGS HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED TILL OCT-10 .

MINE CLOSURE & RECLAMATION :

In command area of BCCL , there are about 40 Coal horizons out of that 18 number are workable. Only upper seam Coal horizons have been extracted and lower Coal horizons are still virgin or being developed in the major part of the Jharia Coalfield. It is not possible to restore the excavated land until the entire workable Coal horizons are extracted.

Mine closer guideline issued by MoC in Nov-09 is being followed . Provision of mine closure plan with the details of Corpus fund is being made in the project reports / EMP prepared by CMPDI, RI- II and submitted to MoEF for final approval and clearance.

RESTORATION OF CLOSED JHUNKUNDAR OPEN CAST MINE

·       The Jhunkundar closed mine is located in Chanch-Victoria Area of BCCL.

·       This mine was closed in 1998.

·       The mining lease area is 72.27 Ha. with 61.09 Ha. of surface rights.

·       The mined out quarry ( 26.71 Ha. ) is submerged with 104 million gallons of water and has formed a water Reservoir.

·       BCCL is supplying water for domestic purpose from this late to surrounding villagers and BCCL employees.

·       This water filed quarry also acts as a “ Rain Water Harvesting Structure” which helps in recharging the ground water table.

·       Pisciculture (fish) by local villagers is done here.

·       The surrounding area (32 Ha.) of the quarry is planted with dense trees (about 80,000 trees) by BCCL.

·       The site has been restored to a natural eco-system.

FIRE & SUBSIDENCE CONTROL MEASURES

Fires are as old as the mining in Jharia Coalfield. Coal is prone to spontaneous heating particularly in this coal field. Unfortunately the condition had been created by the previous entrepreneurs through unscientific mining, which resulted in the fires.

· First fire occurred in 1916 at Bhowrah.  With no worthwhile precaution taken, the number of fires kept on increasing and by 60’s these had spread over the entire JCF.

· Mostly good quality upper seams (above V/VI/VII/VIII combined seam) had been affected by fires.

· At present there are total  67 fire sites have been identified which are affecting 41 collieries of BCCL.

DEALING WITH FIRES, SUBSIDENCE AND REHABILITATION

Efforts Made In The Past

i)   FIRE CONTROL

BCCL prepared 22 nos of Project reports and one advanced action proposal from  1976 to 1988 for dealing with the fires. These reports were sanctioned by the competent authority for an envisaged total expenditure of Rs 114.57 crores.

Massive efforts were made in the implementation of 22 fire projects by the application of the best available technology such as Digging, Trenching, Dozing, Blanketting with non-combustible material, Sand flushing, Inert gas injection, Water pooling, Isolation stoppings, Mutti capping, Surface sealing, Addition of top soil, Hydraulic sand stowing and Remote sand-bentonite mixture flushing etc. Besides, stabilisation work was carried out to save Railway lines, jores and other areas which were accessible.

Over 22 million cubic metres of blanketting work was carried out and more than 50 million tonnes of sand stowed below ground. Approximately 3 million cubic metres of nitrogen gas has been flushed below the ground to control the fires, concurrently about 10 million tonnes of coal were saved from blazing fires. A large number of HEMM such as shovel, dozer, tippers and compactors were deployed for carrying out fire fighting operations.

A sum of Rs 75.0 crores approximately have been incurred in the fire fighting measures against these approved fire reports so far.

However, in those area which are occupied by unauthorised persons and heavily built up over old, pre-nationalisation workings, with danger of possible subsidence and not approachable from underground side, it has been difficult to carry out stabilisation and fire abatement work.

This has resulted in :

·     Liquidating 10 fires completely

·     Released over approx. 400 million tonnes of coal, of which approx. 180 million tonnes valued at Rs.8000 crores were saved from total destruction.

·     Controlled rest of the fires from causing total devastation.

·     Reduced  the total surface area affected by fires from 17.00 sq.km. (assessed in 1986) to 9 sq.km. i.e. 48% reduction in fire area. Asper the recent (2206) TIR survey by NRSA, Hyderabad the surface fire area is about 3.0 sqkm only.

·     Reduced blockage of coal to 1453 million tonnes against original 1864 million tonnes.

ii)  SUBSIDENCE CONTROL:

Over the years BCCL has been making continuous efforts to control  the subsidence in all the vulnerable areas, to the extent  practicable and possible. Some of the important locations where measures have been taken to control subsidence are as under:

·     Subsidence control by sand stowing.

·     Jore Bed Stabilisation to prevent accidental flooding due to subsidence.

·     Shifting of people from endangered areas to non-coal bearing areas.

Major Work Done For Preventing /Controlling Subsidence In BCCL

(A) Subsidence Control In Fire Areas By Blind Flushing

1. Phularitand Fire X, XI, XII & XIII Seams

2. Industry-Kusunda Fire XI To XIV Seams and Kari Jore

3. Bhalgora Fire Stabilisation of 2 Pit, Simlabahal

4. Lodna Fire to protect Dhanbad Sindri Road and Dhanbad Patherdih Railway Line

5. Kendwadih 6 & 7 Pits XIII, XIV seams fire

6. Stabilisation Of 1 Pit Shaft Pillar At Amlabad  (XIV seam fire)

(B) Jore Bed Stabilisation For Preventing Accidental Flooding

1. Kari Jore bed stabilisation at Industry Colliery.

2. Katri River bed stabilisation in Katras Area

3. Sendra Nalla At Mudidih/Kankanee

4. Ekra Jore At Loyabad, Bansdeopur, Bassuriya, Sendra Bansjora,     Gopalichak

5. Chatkari Jore at Kujama, Joyrampur, North Tisra

6. Dungri Jore at Bhowra South

iii) WORLD BANK STUDY

A. ASSISTED JHARIA MINE FIRE CONTROL TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE  PROJECT (IDA CREDIT NO.2450-IN)

Under the assistance of US $ 12.0 million from the World Bank the Jharia Mine Fire Technical Assistance Project was taken up by BCCL for carrying out the diagnostic study for dealing with fires and preparation of Environmental Management Plan. Two international consultants : GAI-METCHEM Joint venture and Norwest Mine Services Ltd. were engaged for Fire Fighting Programme and Environment Management Plan respectively. The consultants started the work in 1994 and completed their study in March 1996. These consultants used the state-of-art technology and modern scientific tools and methods for the evaluation of the problems and projections of the possible mitigating measures.

The consultants for preparation of Fire Fighting Programme has submitted the report in November 1996.

B. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PLAN

The report by the Environmental Consultants relating to socio-economic study, air quality, water management, water quality monitoring and mine reclamation was submitted in January 97. The major findings/recommendations are given below:

·        Thermal Power Plants, Diesel generators and Coke manufacturing lead to significant air quality concerns. The contribution of Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) emission by mining is only 6% as against 31% by traffic, 8% by power plants and 37% by coking and briquetting.

·       The water quality in the coalfields is diverse. The mine water is treatable to be fit for domestic use.

·       The pollution load in the Damodar River by the coalfield is estimated to be only 15%, the rest being contribution from upstream, power plants etc.

·       Construction of small reservoirs to the north of the coalfields across the nallas/ streams has been suggested. These would act as water reservoirs for domestic and commercial use.

·       The present programme of biological reclamation of OB dumps, subsidence areas quarries and fire areas to be continued.

·       Community involvement should be initiated for protection of existing plantation and to encourage social forestry.

Efforts / Activity under implementation at present

MASTER PLAN FOR DEALING WITH FIRES, SUBSIDENCE AND REHABILITATION IN BCCL (March-2008)

BACKGROUND

The Standing Sub-committee of SSRC on Environment and Ecology directed CMPDI in its XVI th meeting held at CIL, Calcutta on 30.06.98 to prepare a Master Plan for dealing with the problems of fire, subsidence and rehabilitation in the leasehold of BCCL, considering the fire control measures, areas to be stabilized, areas requiring rehabilitation including the phased requirement of funds for the same. Accordingly, report entitled “Master Plan for dealing with fire. Subsidence and Rehabilitation in the Leasehold of BCCL” was submitted in March ’99.

PIL Case regarding Shifting of People from endangered areas:

A PIL case was filed by Sri Haradhan Roy, Ex-MP in 1997 with a prayer for order of initiation of immediate steps for control of fire and subsidence in BCCL and ECL and rehabilitation of affected persons within a specified time frame. Subsequently, it was ordered that an Action Plan should be prepared for dealing with fire, subsidence and rehabilitation of the people from the affected areas of Jharia Coalfield and Raniganj Coalfield. As an out come of writ petition (Civil) No. 387/97 filed by Sri Haradhan Roy, EX-MP in 1997, an Action Plan for shifting and rehabilitation, dealing with fire and stabilization of unstable areas was prepared in April ’03. This Action Plan was prepared based on Master Plan’99.

·       The Action Plan was sent to state Govt. of Jharkhand and West Bengal as well as to Ministry Labour/ DGMS for their comments and acceptance.

·       The Action Plan was finalized in July ’03 incorporating the decisions of State Govt. & DGMS.

·       Supreme Court of India appointed Director General of Mines safety to go through the Action Plan and file a report in the court.

·       DGMS constituted a committee and submitted its report in Aug’05. One of the observations of the committee was:

“As there is no scientific method available to check long-term stability of the site stabilised by sand stowing, it might not be possible to certify that the areas thus stabilised. The present stabilization work may restrict the effect of subsidence and allow some time. The final and permanent solution is evacuation of the affected area and rehabilitation”.

  • The updated Master Plan was approved by BCCL and CIL Board in July 04 and submitted to MOC for approval.
  • Planning commission accorded “In Principal” approval of the Master Plan in March 2005.
  • MOC directed that : In view of the DGMS Committees’ observation all the areas where stabilization through hydraulic stowing was proposed now have to be considered for total re-settlement, and the execution of Master Plan should be tried to be completed within a period of 10 years (excluding 2 years pre-implementation).
  • Accordingly, the Master Plan was revised in July’2006.
  • This Master Plan is cost-updated in March, 2008 by CMPDIL.

Master plan has been approved by Govt. of India and communicated vide letter no-22020/1/2005-CRC dated 12-08-09 of MoC. (hyperlink with existing page on web approval of Master Plan)

Benefits to people on implementation of this Master Plan
(1) No more subsidence will occur in future as it has happened in Kusunda, Kujama, Kendua and Basdeopur
(2) Due to increase in coking coal production the closed coke ovens will be opened and this will generate 250000 jobs for the unemployed.
(3) Driver, auto electrician, fitter jobs will be generated indirectly in BCCL, due to this, the economy of Dhanbad and surrounding villages will become vibrant and people will flourish.
(4) IT sector will be promoted in and around new townships.
(5) This will stop migration of unemployed youth to other states as vast employment opportunities directly and indirectly are going to be generated once this plan is implemented.
(6) All infrastructure like roads, railway lines and civic amenities etc. will be provided in the Rehabilitation towns.
(7) Additional ring roads will be constructed, re-construction, strengthening and widening of existing roads will be done. There will be no more traffic jams.
(8) Training for livelihood will be done for nurses, technicians, artisans etc.
(9) The new townships that are going to be constructed by reputed companies will have good quality of life.
(10) After fire control, the coal field area will be reclaimed back to green belt with ponds, parks etc. and reused for people.
(11) This will also benefit to the country due to saving import of coking coal which is a big burden on the country now.
(12) Clean environment, free from pollution will be the future scenario.

Present   Status  –   Fire Dealing

Thermal Infra Red Survey : Coarse resolution survey for demarcating surface fire boundaries has been completed by National Remote Sensing Agency(NRS), Hyderabad in 2006 at a cost of Rs. 11.10 lakh.

Preparation and implementation of fire schemes: Status is as below:

  • 19 Fire projects-    Ongoing/Under  implementation taken      as  advance action by excavation me
  • 3 Fire Project             Under Preparation for FY 2010-11

NEW FIRE SCHEMES UNDER PREPARATION AT CMPDI , RI-II

1. Scheme for dealing with fire at North Tisra South Tisra , Jeenagora and Joyrampur coliiery.`

2. Scheme for dealing with fire at Kujama and GOCP.

3. Scheme for dealing with fire at Ena colliery.