Jharkhand has asked the Centre to rein in Public Sector Units (PSUs) from carrying out “reckless” mining activities causing environmental degradation in the state and demanded setting up of a team to monitor their functioning.
“Performance of PSUs like Central Coalfields Ltd and Bharat Coking Coal Ltd is far from satisfactory. The status of reclamation of their mined area is extremely dismal,” a senior official from Jharkhand said.
“We have brought the issue to the notice of Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh who has promised to look into the matter,” she added.
Further elaborating on the issue, the official claimed that reclamation is not taken up on the ground that mining operations are not complete. “They keep on opening virgin areas without exhausting the ore in opened up areas. Abandoned mines, and not reclaimed ones, are the major source of illegal mining.”
The official pointed out that since proper disposal of slurry was not being done; the water was getting polluted in the region.
Seeking the Centre’s intervention in the matter, she sought setting up of a joint task force comprising officials from Coal and Environment Ministries at the central level to assess the damage done and to work out technical solutions.