Large volume of water gets stored in mine sumps, which is then recycled using appropriate techniques like rainwater harvesting etc., for irrigation and drinking purposes, hence forming an eco-friendly coal mining site.
The Indian mining sector is quite known for shading long-term negative impacts on the country’s flora and fauna. This industry comprises of 87 minerals out of which coal fulfills around 55 per cent of India’s energy demands. Coal mining leads to severe consequences to the environment and human health. Large areas of forests, farms and mountains are cleared to make way for coal mines, those who live near these mines face a high rate of lung cancer, kidney, heart and respiratory diseases and low life expectancies. Burning of coal releases harmful chemicals like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide etc., which result in water and air pollution.
Despite such hazardous consequences, coal sector also leads to various positive outcomes which still remain uncovered. Coal mining companies like Adani Gujarat, Coal India Ltd. and others provide an access to various job opportunities, thus reducing unemployment, and a stability to various small and middle level businesses. Owing to the rising electricity demands, coal production is a necessity for maintaining the balance. Increase in industrialization and urbanization estimates a global water deficit of 40 per cent by 2030, which can be dealt with the help of coal mines.
Water holds a critical place in the coal mining operations. Large volume of water gets stored in mine sumps, which is then recycled using appropriate techniques like rainwater harvesting etc., for irrigation and drinking purposes, hence forming an eco-friendly coal mining site.
This wastewater management process involves a series of steps- identification of the relevant source and characteristic of wastewater, such as, mine water, sewage etc. followed by reduction of the volume of wastewater by in-mine sealing of water flow and segregating the inorganic wastes from water. Now the wastewater is ready to be reused depending upon its quantity, quality and characteristic and availability of technology and fresh water. Finally the effluents are disposed-off adhering to the local effluent disposal guidelines.
Having this scope of minimalizing the mine water wastage, many coal mining companies like, Tata and Adani in Gujarat, Coal India Ltd, Jharia Coalfield in Jharkhand and many others aim for 100 per cent water being recycled for community usage. As per a report, currently 825 villages in 9 states are being benefitted by the water supplies from coal mining sites with a plan to enhance it to 4300 L Cu.m by 2023-24.