Highlighting the ditribution of coal in India, discuss the issues associated with coal mining.

Mainly two types of Coal are found in India in two main geographical zones viz Gondwana Coal and tertiary Coal.

  1. Gondwana Coal
    1. It makes up 98% of total reserves.
    2. Carbon content is less as compared to the carboniferous coal
    3. Metallurgical grade high-quality coal.
    4. Moisture free but contains sulphur and phosphorous.
    5. Found in Damodar valley, Mahanadi basin, Son river basin.
  2. Tertiary Coal
    1. It is present in small quantities.
    2. Carbon content is low.
    3. Moisture content is high.
    4. Found in extra peninsular regions like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya Plateau and J&K etc.

Issues associated with coal mining:

  • Obsolete technology and heavy dependence on human labour.
  • The high ash content of Indian coal leads to heavy pollution of particulate matter.
  • Problems associated with coal block auction.
  • Delayed environmental and forest clearances.
  • Problems associated with land acquisition.
  • Issues related to illegal coal mining and the use of child labour in the mining industry.
  • Heavy dependence on imports for coking coal.

Recent initiatives like UTTAM application for coal quality monitoring, coal linkage policy, CAMS (coal allocation monitoring system), opening up of commercial coal mining etc are steps in the right direction.

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