New Delhi: As a commitment towards environmental protection, promotion, and conservation, Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL), a Singrauli-based Miniratna PSU and Coal India subsidiary is observing 'Van Mahotsav,'week. During the week, massive plantation, distribution of fruit-bearing, and shade plants, and development of echo parks are being proposed. In its unique efforts towards environmental conservation, NCL has installed a mechanised irrigation system on overburden dump slopes at its Nigahi project for reclamation of vegetation.
NCL operates through 10 opencast mines to excavate more than 100 M coal annually, which also requires removing more than 300 million cubic meters of overburden (material to be removed for exposure of coal layer) which is deposited in form of highly elevated dumps. In order to re-establish Flora and fauna, the area above overburden dump tops and slopes are reclaimed with plantation of native species.
In some cases, it was observed that plantation on dump dried up due to lack of nutrients and irrigation in prescribed quantity, and some eroded during monsoon season as it takes at least three to five years for a tree to become well-rooted.
Keeping this in mind, the gravity-based drip irrigation system for bio-redevelopment was planned by NCL in a phased manner so that the plants take root within a year, before the next monsoon arrives and in case of heavy rain also, the ability to bind soil can be developed. Required are also supplied from time to time with water.
In Nigahi, the biggest coal project of NCL, this work has been carried out on a 2-3-hectare area at the slope of the dump as a pilot project. Plant species adapted for this project are as per the environmental conditions of the Nigahi region so that local flora and fauna remain unchanged.
NCL is taking hosts of initiatives for the betterment of the environment, including the plantation of more than 23.4 million trees since inception. The company is using the latest technologies for environmental conservation and has installed continuous air quality monitoring systems.
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