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Court’s Verdict on Coal Block Allocation an Opportunity to Reform India’s Mining Sector


  • Consider overall ecological impacts: Mining activities do not only affect the local ecology, but the impacts are far reaching and long term involving ecosystem loss, environmental pollution, geo-morphological changes and habitat destruction. We must make regional/cumulative impact assessments an important tool to decide the extent and method of mining that can be allowed. Develop regional mining plans.
  • Mine closure: In India, more than 240 coal mines are lying abandoned. This is an environmental and safety hazard, apart from land loss. Strengthen the mine closure provisions in the MMDR Act. A provision on retrospective mine closure should also be incorporated in the Act to fine companies that have not carried out closure.
  • Synergize regulatory provisions, reform institutions: The various Acts and Rules related to the mining sector need to be synergized to avoid ambiguities, which companies have been exploiting to undertake illegal mining.
  • Exit clause: There needs to be a provision in the law that allows for periodic review of the provisions of the law every five to 10 years.

Said Bhushan, “The regulatory system concerning mining, including coal, should not be perceived as a mechanism for aiding mining; but as a cornerstone that can ensure a sustainable mining future, balancing the needs of the people, the environment and the economy.”


Source: CSE.