MINUTES OF 33rd EXPERT APPRAISAL COMMITTEE (EAC) (THERMAL & COAL MINING) MEETING HELD ON 26th-27th SEPTEMBER 2011 HELD IN WCL HEADQUARTERS, NAGPUR

 

COAL MINING PROJECTS

The 33rd meeting of the reconstituted EAC (T &C) was held on 26th-27th September 2011 in WCL Headquarters, Nagpur to consider the projects of coal mining sector. The list of participants of EAC and the proponents are given at Annexure-1 and 2 respectively.

Confirmation of minutes

The minutes of the 31st meeting of EAC (T&C) held on 29th-30th August 2011 was confirmed subject to the following corrections:

 

Item No.8: The word ‘Mahaveer’ is replaced with ‘Mahavir’.

 

The agenda items were taken up as given below:

 

1.         Dongri Tal-II Coalmine Project Phase-I (2.9 MTPA ML area of 1392 ha) of M/s M.P. State             Mining Corp. Ltd. located in village Bhainsabuda,Digwah,Bajauri,Dongri, district Singrauli, M.P. (Further consideration of EC based on TOR granted on 28.05.2010)

 

The proposal is for opening a new opencast Dongri Tal-II Coalmine Project Phase-I (2.9 MTPA in an area of 1392 ha) of M/s M.P. State Mining Corp. Ltd. located in district Singrauli, M.P.  The proposal was considered in the EAC (T&C) meeting held on 28th -29th March 2011 and details/clarifications sought by the EAC were further considered.

 

The proponent made a presentation. The proponent informed that the coal block was allotted through Govt. dispensation route and details furnished with regard to Power Purchase Agreement were presented. It was informed that the linked TPP (2x660MW) has obtained EC in February 2010. In regard to diversion of Hirdul Nala, it was informed that the proposed diversion has been approved by Chief Engineer, Water Resource Department Rewa, M.P. dated 23.08.2011. It was stated that the Hirdul Nala originates from Mohanban Reserve Forest and discharges into Gopad River. A total length 3km of the nala within ML area is to be diverted. It was stated that the proposed diversion would not impact the run off in the catchment area. The proponent further informed that the Hydro geological Report on the impact of mining on the groundwater regime has been prepared and submitted to MOEF. As per the report, the estimation of cone depression due to mining has been determined by modelling for each year of 17 years of mine life. It was stated that peizometers have been installed at 4 locations - Jalpani, Bijouri, Jhalari, Chakia at a distance of 3-3.7 km from the mine. The impact of dewatering of mines on the groundwater level in these villages has been studied. It was informed that the ground water table of nearby villages would not be affected by the mining as the mine would intersect the sub-confined aquifer only. The villagers would continue to get water from their shallow wells tapping phreatic aquifer. It was s stated that recharge measures such as percolation tanks would be established one in each village to recharge an estimated 4.5 MCM/year, which would raise the phreatic aquifers by about 2.5m/year and recharge of the sub-confined aquifer would be by construction of four anicuts in the eastern hills in the study area, which is the recharge area of sub-confined aquifer and for conservation and utilization of surface runoff, reduction of soil erosion, etc. The capacity of anicuts would be about 36,375m3. The Committee was informed that four shallow and six deep peizometers are proposed to be constructed in each village and at the boundary of mining pit to monitor water table. An amount of Rs 25 lakhs has been earmarked for the construction of peizometers and for groundwater monitoring. It was informed that there would be no water body left in the decoaled void at the post mining stage. It was stated that model calibration has been done for current data due to non availability of historical data as the mine is in virgin area. It was informed that elephants are reported 30-40 km away from the proposed mine site. It was informed that a project specific Wild Life Conservation Plan has been prepared with a budgetary provision of Rs 4 crores, however, the State Govt. of M.P., (Forest Department) has expressed inability to implement a Regional WL Conservation Plan for the area such as forests located in the buffer zone and in the region as a whole would be badly fragmented into a honeycomb due to proposed operation of the various coal blocks. The proponent presented details of coal evacuation from mine to end use plant. Coal mined by surface miner would be loaded onto dumpers (12 trucks/h) and transported for a distance of about 1.5 km and thereafter transported by belt conveyors. Pay loaders would be deployed at loading point and coal unloaded at a CHP and thereafter transported by a belt conveyor through silo loading at Dongri Tal-II Railway siding situated at distance of  about 13 km from Gajrabahra station by rail to end user at Nigrie Power Plant covering a distance of 45 km. It was informed that transportation of OB would be by use of 45 dumpers/hour. A letter dated 8.10.2010 from Deputy Director, Agriculture development and Farmers Welfare, Singrauli (M.P.) confirming that the land with in the ML area is rain fed single crop with low productivity was furnished. It was stated that an amount of Rs 408 lakhs for activities under CSR activity has been earmarked for the first three years of operation and thereafter, an annual revenue expenditure of Rs 6/T of coal for undertaking CSR activities is proposed. An additional provision of Rs 1 crore has been made for maintenance of common resources.

 

The Committee noted that a number of coalmine projects such as Amelia, Amelia (North), Mahan, Chhatrasal, etc are located in and around the coal project. The Committee also noted that River Gopad passing the block would ultimately discharge into Govind Ballabh Sagar (Rihand) Reservoir and hence the impact of cumulative mining of many coal projects and possible siltation of the Rihand reservoir due to their operation is a matter of concern, especially since Singrauli is a critically polluted area. The Committee also noted with concern the comments of the State Govt. expressing its inability to implement a Regional WL Conservation Plan and desired that this matter be brought to the attention of the MOEF, since the region has a number of Schedule-I fauna such as Indian Elephant, Leopard, sloth Bear and their prey species. The Committee desired that project specific wildlife conservation plan should be implemented ensuring free passageways for the movement of animals (both prey and predator species) even as for the life of the mine and the habitat of the decoaled areas be suitably restored as in the pre-mining phase by re-introduction of native species representing the pre-mining ecosystem. In regard to impacts of mining on the groundwater regime, the Committee desired that a long-term assessment for long term impact of mining on aquifer should be carried out by regular ground water monitoring in terms of both quality and quantity of water and observed that about 16600m3 -26000m3/day of dewatering is proposed and desired that suitable measures be taken to protect the aquifer of the area, although the area is presently categorised as ‘safe’ from groundwater development. The Committee noted that the proponent proposed to undertake progressive advance dewatering/pumping of ground water to the tune of 16600m3/day to 26000m3/day from the mine pit during active period of mining. The findings of the pumping test and ground water modelling studies carried out by proponent have projected a significant lowering of groundwater levels at various locations, especially within 5 km from mine site during active period of mining. As these findings is based on the outcome of single pumping test carried out at constant pumping rate, to assess the overall impact of mining on local and regional ground water system, the proponent should plan and implement a long term ground water monitoring programmes in the study area by establishing a close network of existing wells/peizometers at appropriate locations. Such monitoring should be on continuous basis to commence before the start of mining and consider both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of ground water regime. The plan should incorporate information of details of peizometers (quality and quantity), frequency of monitoring, time frame of implementation and budgetary provision etc. The Committee also desired that the proponent should adhere to regulatory framework /guidelines as notified by Central Ground Water Authority or other regulatory agencies for this purpose. The Committee recommended that the diversion of the nala should be appropriately designed to minimize adverse impact on regional flow system/hydrological regime, environment and riparian water use in the area. Suitable measures also need to be taken to identify and protect the existing water bodies located in the mine lease area to the extent possible. With regard to the proposed construction of percolation tanks and anicuts for groundwater recharge, the Committee recommended that the proponent should take into consideration land optimization, proper design, construction, maintenance and operation of the percolation tanks anicuts. The design aspects of these water harvesting structures should be considered/optimised through experimental studies. Further, there is also a need for careful monitoring of potential contamination of the groundwater, since a variety of toxic materials in mine effluents may pose a potential risk for contamination of the ground water. The Committee also desired that the project proponent also adopt Best Management Practices in terms of efficient water use, water audit, water conservation, ground water recharge, appropriate treatment/pollution abatement measures. The Committee desired that the extent of use of dumpers for both coal and OB should be reduced. The Committee desired that a CSR “Action Plan” (village-wise and activity-wise) with details of capital budgetary provision of Rs 408 lakhs as agreed, for initial 4-5 years and at Rs 6/T of coal production for the activities for the life of the mine should be prepared and furnished to the Ministry. The Committee desired that implementation period for completion of R&R should be reduced from 17 years to 7 years or less.

 

The Committee recommended the project for environmental clearance subject to these conditions.

 

 

2.       Marki-Zari-Jamani-Adkoli Opencast Coalmine Project (1 MTPA in an ML area of 459.68 ha) of M/s Maharashtra State Mining Corp. Ltd., located in villages Adkoli, Paunar and Ganeshpur Khurd, Dist. Yavatmal, Maharashtra (Further consideration of TOR)

 

The proposal was earlier considered in the EAC meeting held on 20th -21st June 2011 and the details/clarifications sought were further considered.

 

The proponent made a presentation. The details of creation of JV and Agreement with Sunil Hi-Tech were presented. It was informed that the proposal is for opening a new opencast coalmine project of 1 MTPA in an ML area of 459.68 ha of which 70.35ha is forest land, 356.95 ha is Agriculture land 6.38 ha is road, 13.27 ha is water body and12.73 ha is barren land. River Vidarbha flows at a distance of 7.5 km in the north-eastern side and River Mukutban flows 6.4 km along the south-eastern Side. Diversion of nala is proposed. Of the total ML of 459.68  ha, 309.68  ha is for quarry, 99.17 ha is for external OB dump,11.73 ha is for mine infrastructure, 27.49 ha is area for rationalisation and for roads, 6.50 ha is for barrier along mine boundary and 5.11 ha is for diversion of road. Mining would be by a combination of shovel-dumper and use of surface miner. Ultimate working depth is 190m bgl. Grade of coal is D-E. An estimated 213.55 Mm3 of OB would be generated over the life of the mine of which 34.50 Mm3 would be stored in external dumps of 60m height and area of 99.17 ha and the balance 179 Mm3 of OB would be backfilled into the entire decoaled void in an area of 201.90 ha (i.e. no water body would be left) which would rise over ground level to a height of 60m. Cost of the project is Rs 175 crores. Cost of EMP measures is Rs 125 lakhs. CSR would be implemented at @Rs5/T of coal. An estimated 1300 m3/d of water (source is mine discharge water) would be used for the mine. R&R of 400 PAFs, consisting of land losers, is involved. It was informed that Mining Plan has been approved and an application for Stage-I FC for 70.30 ha of forestland has been made. In addition, acquisition of 356.95 ha of agricultural land which is double cropped has been applied for to the State Revenue Dept. It was stated that UG mining is not a favoured option as of the 24 MT of coal reserves in the block, only 6 MT would be extracted with UG mining, and hence the Mining Plan has been approved for an opencast project. It was further stated that due to safety considerations, DGMS also does not permit agricultural activity in land below which underground mining is in operation and the prevalent practice is that the mining company acquires the agricultural land even in UGP. It was informed that an estimated 5 MT of coal is found below forestland within the ML. Life of the mine is 15 years.

The Committee noted that district Yavatmal is a cotton growing area and a large number of people would be displaced due to dumping of OB. The Committee observed that 22.97 ha of land is double crop irrigated land area which cannot be permitted for other land use under the proposed Land Acquisition & Rehabilitation (LARA) Bill. The Committee noted that 15 years of limited life even as an OCP, would not cater to the requirements of the linked TPP. The Committee desired that the proponent examine the option of underground mining in the area as very large area of agriculture land is involved in the project. The Committee desired that proponent examines the option of underground mining in consultation with a multidisciplinary team involving sociologists from Vidarbha. The proponent may also consult NEERI/Nagpur University for deciding best options for mining assessing the socio-economic benefits/loss of destroying the livelihood of local population due to the mine. The Committee also desired that that proponent should hand over the land to villagers and allow people/oustees to practice agriculture in that land. The Committee desired that the proponent consult M/s Wani Coalfields Ltd (Nerad Malegaon OCP-cum-UGP) in this regard.

The Committee decided to further reconsider the project for TOR after receipt of the aforesaid details.

 

 

3.         Parsa East and Kanta Basan Opencast Mine (10 MTPA) and Coal Washery (10 MTPA) of M/s Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd., of Hasdeo-Arand Coalfields in Tehsil Udaypur, Dist. Sarguja, Chhattisgarh (Further consideration of EC based on TOR granted on 18.03.2008 read with TOR granted on 11.07.2009)

   

The proposed Parsa East and Kanta Basan Opencast Mine project (10 MTPA) and Coal Washery (10 MTPA in an area of 2711.034 ha for mine washery and infrastructure including 1898.328 ha of forest land) of M/s Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd.  Hasdeo-Arand Coalfields in Tehsil Udaypur, Dist. Sarguja, Chhattisgarh. The proposal was earlier considered in the EAC (T&C) meeting held on 18th-19th July 2011 and the proposal was further considered on the details/clarifications sought by the EAC.

 

The proponent made a presentation. Secretary (Forests), Govt. of Chhattisgarh informed that clarification of State Govt has been provided vide letter no 3306/2299/2011/10-2 dated 06/09/2011 of the Additional Secretary (State Forest Dept.) Govt. of Chhattisgarh to MOEF recommending opencast mining. It was also stated that the FC granted by MOEF is for opencast mining. It was informed that sequential mining would be undertaken for the two-phases and internal dumping (backfilling) would be started at the end of 3rd year and no external dumping from 4th year onwards. By the end of phase –I (15th year), about 74% of the total excavated area would be backfilled and reclaimed. At the end of project an area of 1929.84 ha would be reclaimed out of a total ML area of 2388.53 ha. It was informed that there would be no external OB dumping from the 3rd year. Of the total OB generated, only 59Mm3 of OB would be dumped during the first 3 years in the ext. OB dump of a max height of 60m and thereafter the balance 2275.55 Mm3 of OB would be backfilled which would be 30m above ground level. A final water body of 400 ha of max. depth of 30m would be left at the post mining stage. It was informed that there would be planned felling of trees and plantation including compensatory afforestation would be developed, i.e. by planting 29 trees for every tree felled. The total cumulative plantation proposed in phase –I would be 7403854 trees and 1301627 trees in Phase –II. At the end of mine life a total 10737943 trees would have been planted, which includes compensatory afforestation of 56,94,984 trees. It was informed that since the mine lease is on the fringe of Hasdeo-Arand coalfield the forests of the Hasdeo-Arand coalfields would not be fragmented. It was stated that elephants are reported about 10km from the ML. It was informed that the migratory corridor between Samar-Sot Elephant Reserve in district Sarguja and Badal Khol Reserve in district Jashpur would be strengthened through the proposed Wild Life Conservation Plan. It was informed that an amount of Rs 22 crores has been earmarked for WL Conservation Plan, which is being prepared by the WII, Dehradun within 4-6 months. The Plan would include – strict fire control, protection from grazing, deepening of old tanks and desilting ponds and tanks, and erection of check dams, management of existing pasturelands and development of new pasture land consisting of native species, nursery for conserving bio-diversity of native species, identification and management of specific areas such as habitats, riparian zones, etc. It was stated that forest cover of Phase –II will be undisturbed during Phase–I (15 years) of mining and available for wild life which venture into the habitat. As the mine is surrounded by forest area in the southern and eastern parts of the mine it would provide continuity, shelter, food and water to the fauna present in the area. It was stated that during Phase–II (after 15 years), forest cover (with native species) grown in Phase–I area after reclamation, would also be available for the wild life.

 

The proponent informed that the rated capacity of 10 MTPA would be achieved during the 3rd year. It was informed that there would be no drilling and blasting and shovel and dumper combination with drilling and blasting for OB removal. Blasting (if at all) would be by delay electric detonators. It was informed that a conveyor belt for coal transportation is proposed along the central haul road to the CHP and upto the washery, which is to be established adjacent to the CHP. It was stated that coal transportation for the initial 2 years (upto rated capacity of 5 MTPA) would be by road-cum-conveyor and during this period a railway siding would be established and commissioned along with a dedicated railway line upto Parsa block and clean coal would be dispatched by rail to Surajpur TPS located at a distance of 78km. It was stated that a 135 MW pithead FBC based TPP is also to be established within the ML, however the exact location is to be finalised in consultation with the villagers. An estimated 2-3 years would be taken to establish and commission the pit head FBC based TPP, until then the coal rejects would be sold. The company would enter into a contract for the use of coal rejects until the FBC TPP is commissioned within 24-36 months. Action Plan prepared for R&R and CSR were presented. The proponents have earmarked a sum of Rs. 10 crores as one time capital expenditure and Rs 5/T annually for coal production for the life of the mine. It was informed that community development work is being carried out which includes skill development of the local communities and addressing issues such as minor forest produce for the tribal/local communities. It was stated that tribal welfare has been covered under CSR.

 

The Committee desired that there should be no water body at the post mining stage in the forest area and desired that the OB from 30m dump over the backfilled area be rehandled to fill up the void completely. The Committee also observed that it is proposed to dump OB in forest area. The Committee desired that proponent should re-examine whole OB handling and dumping management again and an OB dumping and Management plan with no void should be furnished. The Committee sought details of the rehandling programme of OB for 400ha of 30m depth. The Committee desired that habitat restoration consisting of a 3-storeyed forest ecosystem, using a max of native species found in the pre-mining ecosystem in the study area should be implemented. The Committee noted that a significant amount (2.25 MTPA) of coal rejects would be generated in the coal washery which should be fully utilised in the FBC based TPP and coal rejects should not be stored. The Committee desired that issues of location, transportation of Mine, CHP, Washery and the FBC should be taken up by proponent in an integrated manner and desired that the exact location of the pithead TPP should be finalised immediately and an application for TOR for the FBC based TPP should be made to MOEF within 2 months. The Committee sought a topo sheet/map/complete Plan for location, transportation etc of Mine, CHP, Washery, and FBC Plant and drainage of the area showing River Atem. The Committee also desired that that proponent should study the draft Land Acquisition & Rehabilitation Bill if irrigated land is being affected. The Committee desired that proponent should create separate monitoring cell which would have dedicated team from disciplines of Ecology, WL, Sociologist, hydrologist, etc for implementation of the WL Con. Plan, the R&R Plan and CSR Plan and for issues of habitat restoration. The Committee desired that conveyor (overhead/sub-terrain) should be established over forest areas instead of rail line in the forest areas/stretch near the mine, since the forest area in the southern and eastern parts of the mine provide continuity, shelter, food and water to the fauna present in the area

 

The Committee recommended the project with the aforesaid conditions.

 

 

4.         Fatehpur East Coal Mine Project  in an ML area of 1728.208 of M/s Fatehpur East Coal Pvt. village Fatehpur,Narkalo and Ududa, Tehsil Dharmjaigarh, Dist Raigarh, Chattisgarh (Consideration of  revised application for TOR for 14 MTPA in 1728 ha and Letters dated 03.06.2011 and 10.06.2011 of M/s Fatehpur East Coal Pvt. Ltd.) 

 

Director (MOEF) informed the Committee that Fatehpur East Coal Mine Project of M/s Fatehpur East Coal Pvt. has been considered by the EAC (T&C) 5 times as given below:

 

1st EAC Meeting

EAC meeting on 21.12.2010 for their original application of 9.5 MTPA with a peak capacity of 10 MTPA) in an ML area of 1664.563 ha, wherein some clarifications were sought on the issue of Go/No-Go area.

 

2nd EAC Meeting

EAC meeting in March 2011 to consider the clarifications wherein the proponent informed that based on actual survey, the ML area has increased from 1664.563 ha to 1728 ha with a capacity of 10 MTPA,

 

3rd EAC Meeting

EAC meeting in April 2011 when the EAC recommended TOR for 10 MTPA for an ML area of 1728 ha, however an application for this revised ML area was still awaited and hence no TOR was prescribed.

 

May 2011

Instead of submitting an application for the recommended project of 10 MTPA for the revised ML area of 1728, M/s Fatehpur East submitted          an application for 14 MTPA in an ML area of 1728 ha.

 

June 2011

M/s Fatehpur East sent two letters dated 03.06.2011 and 10.06.2011 to MOEF, wherein it was informed that one of original allottees of the Fatehpur Coal Block, namely M/s Green Infrastructure had changed its name to M/s Athena Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. A clarification of change of name was sought in June 2011 from the Ministry of coal for which a response was received from MOC dated 16.08.2011 stating that the change in name of original allottees is in order.

 

 

4th EAC Meeting

Held on 29th -30th August 2011 for internal consideration of the revised application for a revised capacity of 14 MTPA in a revised ML area of 1728 ha and the documents furnished by M/s Fatehpur East for change of name of one of its allotteees, based on the response of MOC. The EAC decided that the matter must be discussed with the company for the rationale for suddenly increasing the capacity from 10 MTPA to 14 MTPA (40% increase). The change of name issue would also be discussed.

 

5th EAC Meeting

Held on 26th -27th September 2011, wherein the company again revised the capacity from 14 MTPA to 10 MTPA during presentation as, according to M/s Fatehpur East, the Mining Plan under preparation has recommended 10 MTPA due to non-availability of land for external dumping of OB. Issues such as whether the linkage remains the same as per the MOC Allocation Letter due to change of name of the original allottee were also not clear.

 

 

The Committee noted that the project proponent has repeatedly changed the production capacity too frequently. The Committee after discussions decided that all the background documents along with the revised application from 14 MTPA to 10 MTPA in the revised ML area of 1728 ha giving a detailed rationale for frequently changing the capacity and again changing the capacity from 10 to 14 MTPA and once again from 14 MTPA to 10 MTPA would require to be furnished by M/s Fatehpur East for consideration of the Committee. The Committee sought clarification from M/s Fatehpur East Coal Pvt. Ltd. on the relationship of M/s Green Infrastructure Ltd. (changed to M/s Athena Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.) vis-à-vis M/s Athena Chhattisgarh Power Ltd. (end user of the coal) in the context of MOC Coal Allocation letter to M/s Green Infrastructure Ltd.

 

 

5.         Ashoka Coal Washery (10 MTPA)-cum-2x30MW FBC based TPP in a total area of 69 ha within Ashoka OCP of M/s Central Coalfields Ltd., village Benti, Tehsil Tandwa, dist. Chatra, Jharkhand – Further consideration of EC based  TOR granted on 09.06.2009.

 

The proposed Ashoka Coal Washery (10 MTPA)-cum-2x30MW FBC based TPP is to be located in a total area of 69 ha within Ashoka OCP of M/s Central Coalfields Ltd., in village Benti, Tehsil Tandwa, dist. Chatra, Jharkhand. The proposal was earlier considered in the EAC (T&C) meeting held on 30th August 2011 and details/clarifications sought by the EAC were further considered.

 

The proponent made a presentation. It was informed that the of the total 10500m3/day water requirement for washery and FBC plant, total water requirement of washery would be 2700m3/day and source would be mine water and total water requirement for Ashok FBC Power Plant would be 7800m3/day which would be met from the power plant reservoir, rain water and surplus mine water. The total area of plant reservoir and pond would be 25 ha and total area of mine voids where water can be accumulated and utilised is 300ha. It was agreed that a 3-tier plantation with native plant species would be developed along the main approach roads and other roads to be used for the project and within the washery-cum-FBC Plant premises. It was stated that the total area to be brought under plantation by the end of project life would be about 54.28 ha out of total 69 ha area. A 20m green belt would be provided around the plant site and along coal stockyards (raw, clean and coal rejects). All the internal roads would be concreted and developed with avenue plantation. Conveyor belts would be provided for coal transportation. Clarifications sought with reference to AAQ Modelling were furnished. Details of CSR for integrated washery and FBC plant would be Rs 5/T of coal produced by Ashok OCP. Proponent informed that the total budget for 2011-12 for CSR activities in Piparwar area is Rs 6.15 crores. An amount of Rs 427.26 Lakhs reported to have been spent during the current year and the balance would be utilised by March 2012.

 

The Committee desired that a standby water lagoon is required which should be kept in future planning of the FBC based TPP. Native species should be used in development of green belt and for avenue plantation. The Committee desired that green belt should be about 40m thick. The Committee desired that good house keeping practices such as use of mechanical sweepers, covered sheds/wind breakers for the stockyards, mist type sprinkling arrangements at transfer points, etc should be undertaken. The Committee also desired that detail of R&R and CSR activity to be undertaken by proponent should be uploaded on company website. The Committee also desired that CSR amount of Rs 6.15 crores, earmarked for the year 2011-12, should be continued through out the life of project on an annul basis.

 

The Committee recommended environmental clearance to integrated Ashok Coal Washery-cum-FBC based TP Project with the aforesaid conditions.

 

 

6.         Proposed Kolgaon OC Project (0.40 MTPA to 0.50 MTPA with 0.60 MTPA peak production and expansion in ML area from 360 ha to 397.25 ha) of M/s Western Coalfields Ltd. located in Tehsil Wani, district Yavatmal, Maharashtra (Further consideration of EC based on TOR)

 

The proposed Kolgaon OC Project (0.40 MTPA to 0.50 MTPA with 0.60 MTPA peak production and expansion in ML area from 360 ha to 397.25 ha) of M/s Western Coalfields Ltd. located in Tehsil Wani, district Yavatmal, Maharashtra. The proposal was last considered in the EAC (T&C) meeting held on 17th -18th July 2011. The details/clarifications sought by the EAC were further considered.

 

The proponent made presentation. It was stated that as desired by the committee the transportation would be by mechanically covered trucks however, trucks with such specifications are not presently available in the country. It was informed that WCL has contacted leading truck manufacturers of the country for suitable design for the same and once they are available, the same would be used, until such time transportation of coal would be by fully covered tarpaulin trucks. It was agreed that bamboos would also be planted on OB dumps for slope stability. The details of villages to be adopted under CSR were presented which include Kolagaon, Takli, Chikhali, Jugad, Sindola and Sakhara. CSR would be Rs 5/T of coal. It was  stated that the proposed activity–wise budget for CSR for 2011-2012 would be Rs 356.95 lakhs. It was clarified that the project does not involve forestland.

 

The Committee desired that compliance status of project, CSR and R&R details should be displayed on WCL website. The Committee after discussions recommended the project for environmental clearance.

 

 

7.         Bellora Naigaon OCP (expansion of ML area from 398.66 ha to 626.17 ha at 1.25 MTPA) of M/s Western Coalfields Ltd., located in dist. Yavatmal, Maharashtra (Further consideration of EC based on TOR)

 

The proposal was last considered in the EAC (T&C) meeting held on 17th -18th July 2011. The details/clarifications sought by the EAC were further considered. A calendar programme of OB excavation and disposal of the total OB generated estimated at 124.73Mm3, programme for dumping of OB in external dump 85.85 Mm3 (68.83%), and backfilling 38.88 Mm3(31.17%) were presented. An action plan for CSR activity in village Bellora, Naigaon were also furnished. It was stated that a budget of Rs 5/T of coal for CSR activity (Rs 90 lakhs/annum) has been provided. It was informed that the total budget for CSR would be Rs. 356.96 lakhs for the entire Wani area. Forestry Clearance for 40.50 ha of forestland has been obtained as early as 01.09.1993.

 

The Committee noted that the quantity of OB has been reduced but the area of the external OB dump should also be reduced. The Committee desired that proponent should start with the planning for phase –II for further expansion on shallow seam.

 

The Committee after discussions recommended the project for environmental clearance.

 

 

8.         Dhankasa UG (1.20 MTPA over ML area 582.65 ha) of M/s WCL located in Pench-Kanhan Coalfields, dist. Chindwara, M.P. (Further consideration of EC based on TOR granted on 11.12.2008)

 

The proposed Dhankasa UG (1.20 MTPA over ML area 582.65 ha) of M/s WCL located in Pench-Kanhan Coalfields, dist. Chindwara, M.P. The proposal was last considered in the EAC (T&C) meeting held on 17th -18th July 2011 and the clarifications sought by the Committee were further considered.

 

It was informed that Dhankasa is 58km from the Pench-Satpura Tiger Corridor. The proponent agreed to contribute on proportionate basis, the amount required for eco-restoration of the viable corridor as per quantum worked out by NTCA. It was informed that Stage–I forestry clearance for land under surface rights and mining rights is pending with State Govt.

 

The Committee recommended the proposal for environmental clearance vide provisions of the MOEF Circular dated 09.09.2011.

 

 

9.         Bhakra Underground Coalmine Project (0.27 MTPA in an ML area of 227.141 ha) of M/s Western Coalfields Ltd., located in Pench−Kanhan Coalfields, dist. Chindwara, M.P. (Further consideration of EC based on TOR 20.03.2009)

 

The proposed Bhakra Underground Coalmine Project (0.27 MTPA in an ML area of 227.141 ha) of M/s Western Coalfields Ltd., located in Pench−Kanhan Coalfields, dist. Chindwara, M.P. and is 4.5 km from the Pench-Satpura Tiger Corridor. The proposal was last considered in the EAC (T&C) meeting held on 17th -18th July 2011 and the clarifications sought by the Committee were further considered.

 

The proponent made a presentation. It was agreed to contribute on proportionate basis, the amount required for eco-restoration of the viable corridor as per quantum worked out by NTCA.  It was also agreed that coal would be transported by mechanically covered trucks as and when they are available. It was informed that Stage–I forestry clearance for land under surface rights and mining rights is pending with State Govt.

 

The Committee recommended the proposal for environmental clearance vide provisions of the MOEF Circular dated 09.09.2011.

 

 

10.       Jamuniya UG (0.72 MTPA (normative) with 0.828 MTPA (peak capacity) in an     ML area of 407 ha) of M/s WCL, located in Pench-Kanhan Coalfields,    dist. Chindwara, M.P. (Further consideration of EC based on TOR   15.04.2009)

 

The proposed Jamuniya UG (0.72 MTPA (normative) with 0.828 MTPA (peak capacity) in an ML area of 407 ha) of M/s WCL, located in Pench-Kanhan Coalfields, dist. Chindwara, M.P. and at a distance of 53km from the Pench-Satpura Tiger corridor. The proposal was last considered in the EAC (T&C) meeting held on 17th -18th July 2011 and the clarifications sought by the Committee were further considered.

 

The proponent made a presentation. It was agreed to contribute on proportionate basis, the amount required for eco-restoration of the viable corridor as per quantum worked out by NTCA. It was also agreed that coal would be transported by mechanically covered trucks as and when they are available. It was informed that Stage–I forestry clearance for land under surface rights and mining rights is pending with State Govt.

 

The Committee recommended the proposal for environmental clearance vide provisions of the MOEF Circular dated 09.09.2011.

 

 

11.       Letter dated 05.09.2011 of M/s Murli Industries Ltd. regarding Lohara East Coal Block of M/s Maharashtra Coal Company Ltd., in dist. Chandrapur, Maharashtra, for which TOR was withdrawn on 07.01.2010.

 

Director, MoEF informed the committee that the TORs granted to the two projects namely Lohara OCP and Lohara East OCP-cum-UGP of M/s Adani Power Ltd and M/s Maharashtra Coal Comp. Ltd., were withdrawn as they fall in the proposed extended buffer zone of Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve (TATR) and also based on the recommendations of the State Government and of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to not permit coal mining in the area.

 

However, a letter dated 05.09.2011 has been received from M/s Murli Industries Ltd, which is a JV partner of M/s Maharashtra Coal Company Ltd. The proponent informed that the company has revised its mining plan whereby the company now proposes to do only UG mining, whereby 356 ha of forestland found within the ML would not be disturbed, although the company would lose about 2500T/day of coal production by UG mining. It was also stated that they have already installed cement plant in Chandrapur at the cost of Rs 250 crores, which is stalled due to non-availability of coal for the linked TPP.

 

The Committee noted that the TOR had been withdrawn to the project due to the project falling in the extended buffer zone of TATR. The project was rejected by NTCA due to increase in population of Tiger in the TATR and the need for extending the buffer zone of TATR and hence change of mining method to underground mining would not change the situation. It was noted that M/s Adani Power Ltd. has applied to MOC for an alternate block. The Committee desired that project proponent should go for alternate coal source or apply for allocation of another coal block. Committee also informed proponent that there is an Order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court that no activity would be allowed within Protected Areas.

 

 

12.       Meeting with Regional Officer, Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board and M/s Western Coalfields Ltd.  regarding EC granted to WCL mines and Projects awaiting conduct of P.H.

 

12.1     The meeting was attended by Shri Fulmali, Regional Officer, MSPCB at Nagpur and Yavatmal and N.G.Nihul, Regional Officer MSPCB, Chandrapur. The meeting was also attended by Shri Om Prakash, Director (Technical), WCL and senior officers of the Environment Wing of M/s WCL. Director, MoEF informed that information of a list of projects awaiting Public Hearing has been received and stressed the need to hold Public Hearing within the stipulated time limit provided in the EIA Notification 2006. Director (Tech.), M/s WCL informed that there had been some delay earlier for conducting P.H. due to some local problems. It was however assured that the issues had been sorted out and it is proposed to conduct P.H. in the coming months. Chairman, EAC stated that in view of the forthcoming elections in Zila Parishads and Municipal Corporations in February 2012, the Public Hearing notices should be issued immediately so that P.Hs are conducted/completed latest by mid December 2011. This was agreed to.

 

12.2     The representatives of Maharashtra SPCB, ROs stated that the issue of veracity of the baseline data collected/furnished by WCL as part of EIA-EMP Reports, has been raised on a few occasions during Public Hearing. The details of baseline data collection were discussed. M/s WCL informed that the CMPDI attached to WCL is the agency for collection of baseline data and which sets up the monitoring stations for the projects applying for EC. It was clarified that stations are even set up on houses of villagers and for which payments are made.

 

The Committee after discussions desired that details of every stations and records thereof should be maintained by CMPDI/WCL which should be furnished at the time of P.H. The Committee also desired that WCL involve the Sarpanch/Gram Panchayat about intent to collect one-season (3 months) data so that the stakeholders are suitably informed.

Shri Om Prakash, Director (Technical) WCL assured the committee that they would develop a suitable mechanism to inform the villagers properly before collecting baseline data. He also stressed that in future WCL officials would collect the receipt of payments made to the villagers for installing monitoring equipment at particular house and the same would be kept as record.

 

12.3     The representatives of Maharashtra SPCB, ROs stated that compliance of certain EC conditions such as OB Dump management could be better. Shri Fulmali, MSPCB RO also informed that because of poorly reclaimed OB dumps and embankment in Gondegaon Opencast mining, huge quantity of OB is silting into the natural drainage of the area affecting the local habitation. He stated that OB dump stabilisation with plantation requires to be stepped up.   

 

12.4     The representatives of Maharashtra SPCB, RO also stated that the transportation of coal is by WCL is in open trucks which adds lot of coal dust pollution in the area. MSPCB desired that the trucks used for coal transportation should be mechanically covered. Shri Nihul, Regional Officer MSPCB informed that the Chandrapur area is critically polluted area, however, WCL is involved in the regional plan of MSPCB for Ghughus only. WCL has recently, in pursuance of MSPCB, installed few sprinklers in Chandrapur and Ghughus area for controlling dust emission.

 

The Committee requested Regional Officers, MSPCB to submit a comprehensive/detailed note on non-compliance/the violation of EC, if any, of coal projects in the area at the TOR stage of their expansion to MoEF which could be taken up with WCL before grant of TOR for their expansion.

 

 

13.       Visit to Gondegaon Opencast Coalmine Project of M/s Western Coalfields Ltd. at Nagpur, Maharashtra

 

The EAC (T&C) team made a brief visit to Project Gondegaon Opencast Coalmine Project of M/s Western Coalfields Ltd. at Nagpur, Maharashtra on 26.09.2011. The entire ML area consists of agricultural land. No forestland is involved project. 

 

The Committee after the visit desired that more stabilisation of the OB dumps is required. In addition, reclamation of old dumps requires to be redone in areas where rills/gullies have developed. De-weeding operation should be taken up before grassing and planting them with native species of trees. The Committee noted that this should have been done during the monsoon which was recently over. The Committee desired that the stabilisation and reclamation of OB dumps should be carried out on priority basis. The Committee also noted that the main approach roads to the mine, which are also being used for coal transportation by truckers, require to be concreted/black topped. The Committee desired that suitable  plantation should be developed along the approach roads to the mine, along the main haul roads, the number of mist-spray sprinklers should be increased and mechanical sweeping should be introduced along the main haul roads and near the coal stockyard/CHP etc. In addition, a  thick 3-tier vegetation consisting of native species and measures such as water sprinklers for dust suppression should be increased along approach road to the mine and in areas with very high levels of SPM and RPM. 

14.       Visit to Paunderpauni Coal Washery (expansion from 1.62 MTPA to 2.62 MTPA) of M/s ACB (formerly M/s Aryan Coal Beneficiation (P)) Ltd., located in Paunderpauni, Tehsil Rajura, Dist. Chandrapur, Maharashtra (TOR granted on 23.03.2011)

 

The proposal is for expansion from 1.62 MTPA to 2.62 MTPA by increasing the number of operating hours from 300 days to 330 days.  TOR was granted on 23.03.2011.

 

The EAC (T&C) team visited the coal washery in the evening of 27.09.2011. The proponents explained the details of the technology of the coal washery. It was informed that the technology used is based on Heavy Media Density Separator and the required relative density is prepared in the bath by adding finely ground magnetite powder in water. The waste water generated during coal washing is treated in phased manner through a system of thickener –Belt press etc. The treated waste water is recycled and reused for process. Raw coal coming from various mines of Ballarpur area is transported in 20-25T tippers through captive coal roads built under CCDA Grant. After beneficiation of raw coal, washed coal is loaded directly into the wagons in the railway siding located within the washery premises.

 

The Committee desired that thick 3-tier green belt consisting of native species should be provided along the railway siding. The Committee desired that water sprinkling be further strengthened to contain fugitive dust emissions from conveyors/transfer points and slurry should be disposed off properly, as coal fines could be recovered from slurry with proper measures. The Committee desired that coal stock yards should be provided with wind shields and coal fines in the waste water from the washed area should be recovered. It was observed that the proponent has taken effective arrangement for extraction and suppression of dust like wet scrubber, ID fans, and stack. The Committee observed that most of the washery area has been concreted and well maintained. Committee desired that mechanical sweeping be introduced in all internal roads within the unit and along the main approach road, which should be black topped. The Committee noted that thick plantation has been developed in and around the coal washery, but the proponent need to further intensify its efforts towards plantation along stockyards, along the roads, railway siding and vacant areas.

 

 

15.       Meeting with MAHAGENCO and visit to Chandrapur Thermal Power Station        of M/s MAHAGENCO, Chandrapur, Maharashtra

 

The EAC (T&C) Team visited the Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station (2340 MW) at Chandrapur on 27.09.201. The meeting was regarding the specific issue of quality of coal supplied by WCL mines mixed with soil, dirt, and soggy which according to MAHAGENCO has resulted in reduction in the efficiency of Chandrapur Thermal Power Plant and damaged its units. It was informed that the Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station of MAHAGENCO is receiving coal from WCL mines eg. Dongri, Umrer mines. The coal received by rakes from Umrer also contains coal slurry, dirt and is soggy at the time of arrival by wagons making it unsuitable for its boilers and has led to frequent break down of equipment and machinery and affected the output of power generation and performance of CTPS.  CMD, MAHAGENCO also stated that m/s WCL ahs so far not agreed to downgrade the coal being dispatched and as a result, MAHANGENCO is incurring financial losses on higher price levied by WCL on poor grade coal. Shri Narayan, WCL stated hat coal usually gets wet during rainy season and the problem is observed only during monsoon season. Dir (T), M/s WCL stated that complaints have however not been received from other consumers receiving coal from WCL. Representatives of M/s WCL suggested that this problem could be overcome by mixing wet coal with dry coal. Dir (T), WCL informed that a decision has been taken by CIL for joint sampling of raw coal with the linkage/end user at the point of dispatch, which is binding on all the CIL subsidiaries.

 

The Committee was of the view that joint inspection of coal quality before loading should be taken and records of batches of coal supplied along with coal characteristics of ash content should be recorded in the presence of officials of both the companies. The EAC suggested that WCL could consider separating the layers of shale found between coal seams, as was observed during the site visit to Gondegaon OCP, and for removal of shale before coal crushing, which was noted by Dir (T), WCL. The Committee also suggested Third Party Sampling and Analysis of random samples of coal. MAHAGENCO also assured that they would provide covered coal storage yard/shed before next monsoon for storage of coal. The Committee stated that in case washing of coal is involved through commercial washeries, MAHAGENCO could send its representative for evaluation of coal quality and yield (raw, clean (washed), and coal rejects) of the coal received from WCL and being washed on behalf of MAHAGENCO. It was informed that a condition is also stipulated to this effect in the Environmental Clearance letter to coal washeries being granted EC by the MOEF. The coal washeries are also required as per the EC granted to upload details of all batches of raw coal received in the washery in terms of quantum of raw coal, washed coal and coal rejects along with quality including ash content, on the washery company website for better accountability and transparency. This could be cross checked from the raw coal analysed at the WCL end for dispatch to MAHAGENCO. The Committee concluded that this problem would require joint discussion and sorting out the issues by MAHAGENCO and WCL. Dir (T) reiterated WCL’s commitment in this regard.

 

The EAC also mentioned that the levels of SO2/NOx (in the range of 4 ug/m3 indicated in their Notice Board) appears unrealistic and would require to be re-looked. The Committee suggested assessing results with CPCB/ MPCB and recalibration of their monitoring equipment, preferably by Central Pollution Control Board. The Committee also recommended Third Party sampling and testing to be got done periodically through independent laboratories recognised under the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986.

 

 

Any Other Issue with the Permission of the Chair:

  • The MOEF Circular dated 09.09.2011 was read out and circulated to the members of the EAC (T&C).
  • The Committee expressed its gratitude to WCL Authorities for the co-operation and support for the meeting-cum-site visit to Nagpur-Chandrapur.

 

The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the chair.

 

*        *        *


Annexure-1

 

 

PARTICIPANTS IN 33rd EXPERT APPRAISAL COMMITTEE (THERMAL & COAL MINING) IN THE MEETING HELD ON 26th-27th SEPTEMBER 2011 ON COAL SECTOR PROJECTS

 

 

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1.       Shri V.P. Raja                                                           Chairman

 

2.       Prof. C.R. Babu                                                                    Vice-Chairman

 

3.       Shri T.K. Dhar                                ……                         Member

 

4.       Shri J.L. Mehta                                                         Member

 

5.       Prof. G.S. Roonwal                                                 Member

 

6.       Dr. D.S. Attri, Scientist, IMD                                            Member

 

7.       Dr. T. Chandini                                                 ..          Scientist F MOEF

 

8.       Dr. Rubab Jaffer                                                    Scientist B, MOEF

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Special Invitees:

 

1.       Shri R.K.Garg, Advisor, Coal India Ltd. attended the meeting on both days.

 

 


Annexure-2

 

PARTICIPANTS IN 33rd EXPERT APPRAISAL COMMITTEE (THERMAL & COAL MINING) IN THE MEETING HELD ON 26th-27th SEPTEMBER 2011 ON COAL SECTOR PROJECTS

 

1.         M/s M.P. State Mining Corp. Ltd.

            1.         Shri S.K.Dube, GM (O), M.P. State Mining corporation Ltd. , Bhopal

            2.         Shri S.K.Mandal, ED, MPSMCL

            3.         Shri S.K.Thakral, Sr. Jt.President, Jaypee

            4.         Shri M.L.Naik

            5.         Shri S.Kumar

            6.         Shri S.B.Singh

            7.         Dr.Meeta Khilnani

            8.         Shri M.N.Jha

            9.         Shri S.K.Roy

            10.       Shri S.N.Chawla

 

2.         M/s Maharashtra State Mining Corp. Ltd.,

            1.         Shri V.S.Sawabhande

            2.         Shri R.Ramakrishna

            3.         Shri Ratnakar Ghatte

            4.         Shri S.K.Thakral, Sunil Hi-Tech

            5.         Shri M.N.Jha, Jaypee

            6.         Shri A.D.Jamkaq

            7.         Shri Hetal Sampat

            8.         Shri Naresh Nauityal

            9.         Dr.C.M.Sukanya

            10.       Shri N.Chaiudhary

            11.       Shri P.Y.Tembhave

            12.       Shri S.S.Kulkarni

            13.       Shri S.N.Chawla

       

3.         M/s Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd.

            1.         Shri Ravi Sharma, Con. Forests

            2.         Shri Vikram Vyas

            3.         Shri Mudit Kumar Singh, CCF and Nodal Officer

            4.         Shri Naresh Pal Gangaveer, Secretary, Energy, Govt. of Rajasthan

            5.         Shri P.N.Singhal, CMD, RVUNL

            6.         Shri N.M.Mathur, Dir. (Tech.), RVNUL, Jaipur

            7.         Shri ML Thapar, AMPL

            8.         Shri N.K.Prasad, Consultant

            9.         Shri N.M.Sharma, Consultant

            10.       Shri M.K.Sharma, Consultant (Forests & WL)

            11.       Shri KR Singh, GM

            12.       Shri RK Gaur, Dy. CE (Fuel), RVNUL

            13.       Shri R.L.Matto, AMPL

            14.       Shri B.S.Sodhi, AMPL

            15.       Shri PVL Prasad, AMPL

            16.       Shri M.Janardhan, Vimta Labs

            17.       Shri Ajeet srivastava, AMPL

            18.       Shri P.K.Gandhi        

4.         M/s Fatehpur East Coal Pvt. Ltd.

            1.         Shri KR Veerappan, GM

            2.         Shri SS Rai, Advisor

            3.         Shri RV Mathe, FECPL

            4.         Shri MMS Khadeni, FECPL

            5.         Shri SK Maitra, FECPL

            6.         Shri Vikas Agarwal, FECPL

       

5.                     M/s Central Coalfields Ltd.

            1.         Shri T.K.Sinha, GM (Env.)

            2.         Shri B.K.Sharma, Chief Manager

            3.         Shri V.K.Sahay, GM

            4.         Shri Pushkar, SO Manager

 

6.         M/s Western Coalfields Ltd.

            1.         Shri Om Prkash, Dir (T)

            2.         Shri A.C.Ray, GM (env.)

            3.         Shri K. Chakravorty, GM (Mining)

            4.         Shri S.K.Jagnania

            5.         Shri R.N.Jha

            6.         Shri D.Das (Hydrogeologist)

            7.         Shri RM Wanune

            8.         Shri A.Chatterjee, Sr.Mgr

            9.         Shri S.J.Khade

 

7.         M/s Murli Industries Ltd. regarding Lohara East Coal Block of M/s Maharashtra Coal Comp. Ltd.

            1.         Shri R.P.Gupta, Director

            2.         Shri Anand Chaivak, CFO

            3.         Shri Rajesh Srivastava, Consultant

            4.         Shri Shantanua Puranik, Consultant

 

8.         Meeting with Regional Officers, Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board, Nagpur, Chandrapur and Yavatmal and M/s Western Coalfields Ltd.

            -           Members of the EAC (T&C)

            -           WCL headed by Shri Om Prakash, Dir (Tech)

            -           Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board Regional Officers

                        1.         Shri Ajay T Fulmali

                        2.         Shri N.G.Nihul, RO, MSPCB, Chandrapur

                        3.         Shri Rahul Wangkhide, S.R.O

 

9.         Meeting with MAHAGENCO and visit Chandrapur Thermal Power Station of        M/s             MAHAGENCO

            -           Members of the EAC (T&C)

            -           CMD, CTPS, MAHAGENCO and his entire team of Chandrapur TPS

            -           WCL headed by Shri Om Prakash, Dir (Techn)

            -           Maharashtra SPCB RO

            -           Representative of Gupta Coalfields & Washeries Ltd.

 

10.       Site Visit to Paunderpauni Coal Washery of M/s ACB, chandrapur, Maharshtra

            -           Members of the EAC (T&C)

            -           Shri  Khanna

            -           Shri B.S.Pratap Reddy

                                                                        *          *          *

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