Hyderabad

Green nod to SCCL mine put off

Coal being transported in SCCL. File photo  

Non-compliances with closure plan for the existing mine, safety issues related to proposed coal washery and want of information on several other aspects have made an expert committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests defer the environmental clearance proposal for the expansion of Jalagam Vengal Rao opencast mine of Singareni Collieries Company Ltd.t

At its meeting held during the fourth week of March, the appraisal panel of experts noted that the proposed project was expansion of amalgamation of JVR-I and II of SCCL in 1,953 hectares at Kommepalli in Khammam district as the coal reserve of JVR-I is likely to get exhausted by the end of the year. The the mine void of JVR-I would be used for dumping the overburden material.

According to company officials, the total geological reserves reported in the mine area are 309.55 million tonnes with 291.97 million tonnes of extractable reserves. The balance extractable reserves as on March 31 last year were estimated at 230.63 million tonnes with the mine life span of 26 years from 2020-21.

The committee observed that surface water quality of nearby water tank was poor and exceeding the norms. It was noted that disposal of washery rejects from the proposed new coal washery in OB dump may have safety issues and could lead to wastage of extracted resources.

It was pointed out that the certified compliance report of JVR-II has various non-compliances based on the site visit conducted in September 2019. Besides, the project proponent (SCCL) did not submit the certified compliance report of EC of JVR-I and the amendment of EC conditions of JVR-II regarding transportation by road till December 2021 was still under the consideration in the Ministry.

The expert committee further observed that there were various issues which require further deliberations and suitable response.

While deferring the proposal for recommending EC, the MoEF committee listed out gaps in information on the past production details of both the mines since their inception, sought fresh compliance report and action-taken report on ECs for JVR-I and II.

Details of control blasting with adequate safeguards for nearby people, conducting noise and vibration monitoring in nearby villages during day and night for one month and proper response of local people’s demand on pollution mitigation measures raised during the public hearing were sought by the expert panel.

The panel recommended formation of a sub-committee to conduct site visit to analyse the prevailing condition and implementation of measures. Meanwhile, the expert panel has issued terms of reference for appraisal of the proposal for P.V. Narasimha Rao opencast mine in 1,071 hectares near Venkatapur in Mulugu district.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 12:38:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/green-nod-to-sccl-mine-put-off/article34297302.ece

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