Coal India To Make Sand From Overburden at Mining Sites
Coal India Limited (CIL) has taken a unique initiative to produce sand from overburden at very low cost.
- This is a 5 year roadmap released by Coal India Limited (CIL). This will not only help in reducing the environmental pollution caused by sand siltation for sand production from overburden and illegal sand mining, but will also provide an alternative to getting cheap sand for construction work.
- The upper layer of the coal layer during opencast mining is known as overburden. It consists of clay, alluvial sand and sandstone mixed with rich silica content.
- Overburden is removed to search for and extract coal underground. After coal extraction is complete, overburden is used to fill the mine and restore the land to its original form.
- According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), China and India are the top two countries globally where illegal sand mining has become a major environmental problem.
- The extraction of sand creates conditions such as pollution, floods, degradation of aquifers, destruction of ecological habitats and frequent droughts.
- It is classified as a minor mineral in India, and is controlled by the states.
- A study by the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) has estimated that the annual demand for sand in urban India is 60 million metric tonnes.
Other measures taken by the government:
- Sustainable Sand Management Guidelines, 2016 have been issued.
- The Sand Mining Framework, 2018 has been implemented.
- The Enforcement and Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining 2020 has also been implemented.
- The use of fly ash in cement production and construction activities is being promoted.
- Manufactured sand (M-Sand) is being promoted through state level policies.
Source – The Hindu