CSR: Coal companies transforming villages under Jal Jeevan Mission

New Delhi: In line with the clarion call given by the Prime Minister to provide potable water in remote villages under Jal Jeevan Mission, Western Coalfields Limited (WCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL) is transforming the lives of villagers by not only providing purified potable mine water at their doorstep but also generating revenue for the women folks of the villages under Self Help Group (SHG) scheme. Other coal companies of CIL have also embarked upon the ambitious project of gainful utilisation of potable mine water in the nearby villages.

An integrated water purification cum bottling Coal Neer complex has been set up at Patansaongi village, around 25kms from Nagpur City by WCL which has a capacity to purify 2.5 lakh litres of water per day. It has RO based 5 stage water purification plant with a capacity of more than 10,000 litres per hour along with a bottling capacity of 15,000 bottles per day. The water is sourced from the nearby Patansaongi Underground coal mine.

Under a unique scheme, WCL has collaborated with the Women SHG of Patansaongi village for the distribution of purified Coal Neer in a 20-litre jar at the doorstep of nearby villagers. Each jar costs Rs.5, out of which Rs. 3 is retained by SHG. This helps in not only getting purified water by each villager but also gives immense opportunity to earn by the village women. Around 10,000 population in 8 nearby villages have been benefitted from this facility and coverage in other villages is increasing day by day.

On similar lines, other coal companies of CIL with SCCL and NLCIL have started providing surplus mine water to villages in and around their command area both for domestic and irrigation purposes. Ministry of Coal has drawn an ambitious plan to provide 4600 lakh cubic meters of surplus mine water for domestic & irrigation use to nearby villages of different coal companies benefitting around 16.5 lakh population in the next five years.

While extracting coal, water also comes out from beneath the earth surface which is known as mine discharge water. A part of this water is used within the coal mine for spraying, washing, dust suppression, etc. However, a major unutilised chunk of water used to be thrown away in the nearby streams. For gainful utilisation of this unused surplus mine water, WCL first started providing mine water for irrigation purpose and later went ahead in making it purified potable water under Coal Neer Project.

“We use to fetch polluted potable water from a distant place but now purified water is available at our doorstep which has helped in improving our health and providing revenue for our living,” says Ujwala Lande, Sarpanch of Rohna village. Roshni Udhav of Pimpla village has all praise for WCL in providing livelihood through SHG. Womenfolk of SHG have now started utilising this earning for expanding their local cottage industry business. The use of purified water has improved the overall health of villagers & has reduced expenditure on medicine substantially.

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