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10th Jan. 2020 Answer writing

(General Studies III)

  1. What are the environmental impacts of coal mining in India? Suggest the measures need to be adopted to mitigate the environmental problems associated with coal mining? (250words)

भारत में कोयला खनन के पर्यावरणीय प्रभाव क्या हैं? कोयला खनन से जुड़ी पर्यावरणीय समस्याओं को कम करने के लिए कौन से उपायों को अपनाने की आवश्यकता है?

Model Answer:

Coal is the most important and abundant fossil fuel in India. It accounts for 55% of the country’s energy needs. The country’s industrial heritage was built upon indigenous coal.


Environmental issues associated with Coal Mining:

Air Pollution:

  • The major sources of air pollution are blasting and drilling operations, coal fires, loading and unloading of coal, wind erosion from overburden dumps.
  • Coal fires are also a major issue

Soil pollution:

  • The soil gets polluted by strip mining as it involves removal of top soil, wind erosion from overburden dumps.

Water Pollution:

  • Major sources of water pollution are drainage from mining sites, sediment runoff from mining site, erosion from overburden dumps and spoils heaps.

The main environmental legislations governing coal mining in India

  1. Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 –

Consent is required under this act for any mining activity in a forest area.

  1. Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act 1981 and Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act 1974-

Consent from the relevant state Pollution Control Board is required before establishing or operating any industry or process likely to pollute the environment.

  1. Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules 1989-

Consent from relevant State Pollution Control Board is required in respect of “hazardous waste”

Measures need to be taken:

  1. Ensuring minimum waste in extraction
  2. Proper and judicious recycling of wastes
  3. Adoption of environmental friendly technologies-
  4. Efficient use of energy
  5. Afforestation- Green belt should be created around the mining area.
  6. Proper top soil management to ensure least soil and land degradation
  7. To reduce water pollution, mine seepage water after treatment, should be used for different purposes
  8. Subsidence management/ biological reclamation

Mine subsidence is deformation and/or displacement of the ground and any surface or sub-surface features caused by underground coal mining operations.


Date- 10/01/2020                               (Dept. of Content Development)


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