Sunday, August 7, 2022

Coal ministry seeks inclusion of 5 mine pit lakes in Ramsar wetland list

Coal Ministry has approached the environment ministry for the inclusion of five coal mine pit lakes in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Coal on Wednesday said it approached the environment ministry for the inclusion of five coal mine pit lakes in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh in the list of Ramsar sites. The list of Ramsar sites includes wetlands of international importance identified as per the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental treaty established in 1971 by UNESCO, which came into force in 1975. Wetlands, often known as ‘liquid assets’, are crucial natural resources that help stabilise water supplies, cleanse polluted waters, protect shorelines and recharge groundwater aquifers.

“The suitability of coal mine pit lakes for inclusion in the Ramsar list was discussed with MoEFCC (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change), the nodal ministry for identification of wetlands for placing on the Ramsar list,” the coal ministry said in a statement.

As per the guidance of MoEFCC, Coal India has identified five pit lakes situated in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh for consideration of their inclusion in the Ramsar list and the PSU is in the process of preparing a Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS).

Coal India Ltd (CIL) accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal output.

These mine pit water bodies are regularly visited by different species of birds and also has an avifauna population. The environment around these water bodies has ameliorated because of the efforts of CIL through large-scale plantation and other soil moisture conservation activities.

As part of various sustainable activities, the PSU has undertaken conservation of coal mine pit lakes, maintenance of ecological character of wetlands and inclusion of such pit lakes in the prestigious Ramsar list with the assistance of respective state governments and the environment ministry.

The coal ministry is also getting support and assistance from the World Bank and other global institutions for repurposing of abandoned mine sites to make them safe, environmentally stable and suitable for appropriate commercial usage.

(With PTI inputs)

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