Mitigating social and environmental impacts of coal mining in India

Coal is the only natural resource and fossil fuel available in abundance in India. The major environmental challenges encountering the coal industry are impacts of mine fires, dust suppression and control particularly haul road dust consolidation, treatment of mine waters
containing heavy metals/acid mine drainage, restoration of water table and quality of ground and surface water, augmentation of pumped out mine water for drinking purpose, reclamation of mined out areas with pre-determined land use patterns conducive to the local populations etc. The biggest environmental challenge facing the coal industry is the issue of greenhouse gases and acid rain. Overall environmental management improvement has been taking place with the implementation of state of art environmental management schemes particularly under Environmental and Social Mitigation Project (ESMP) of CIL.