Sustainable Mining practices to reclaim forest cover: Case study of PEKB block, Chhattisgarh
Parsa East and Kanta Basan (PEKB) block of Hasdeo-Arand coalfield- located in Udaypur tehsil,
Surguja district, Chhattisgarh is an opencast coal mining project (15 MTPA capacity) spread over an area of 2682.856 ha. The mine started production from February, 2013 and till the end of March 2019, a quantity of about 42.74 million metric tonnes of raw coal has been produced from Parsa East and Kanta Basan coal blocks.
Comprehensive study has been undertaken twice to assess the impact of the mining project on the Land Use Land Cover (LULC) change first time over the period from2011 (pre-mining) to 2016 (4th year of operation) & second time from 2016(4th Year of operation) to 2019 (present status). LULC change was studied using high resolution satellite data from National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) supported by field surveys. First time, nine classes of land use were analyzed: Dense Green Cover, Green Cover, Agricultural Land, Fallow Land, Open Scrub, Water Bodies, Plantation, Mining Area and Built-up Area while second time eleven classes of land use were analyzed: Moderately Dense Forest, Open Forest, Degraded Forest, Fallow Land, Crop Land, Mine Pit, Plantation, Overburden, River/Ponds, Settlements and Scrub Land.
LULC statistics for the first study area from pre-mining year 2011to 2016 show that major changes in land use have occurred in fallow land (-4.41 %),agricultural land (+ 4.20%), mining area (+ 0.90%) and dense green cover (-0.77%). Compared to 2011 (pre-mining), agriculture in the study area in 2016 has increased significantly by 4.20% (an increase of approx. 2,344 ha) which can be attributed to significant agricultural practices being undertaken by villagers in previously fallow lands. Mining accounts for less than 1% of the study area.
LULC statistics for the second study area from operational year, 2016(4th year)to 2019 show that major changes in land use have occurred in fallow land (+3.09 %),agricultural land (-1.47%), mining area (+0.98%) and green cover (+4.46%). Compared to 2016 (4th year), agriculture in the study area in 2019 has decrease by 1.47% (decrement of approx. 814 ha).Mining accounts for approx. 1.29% of the study area.
Mining in the area commenced in February, 2013 and till 31st July, 2019 648.30 ha of land has been broken up (area where natural vegetation has been diverted). In 7 years (since mining commenced in February 2013), 56.5 Ha of the mined out area has been reclaimed and planted, suggesting efforts to bring back ~ 9.0 % of mined-out land to its natural state. Efforts have been made in dump-reclamation and plantation to restore the mined-out land, resulting in plantation across 56.5 of land through deployment of Tree-Transplanter & sapling plantation. Tree transplanter is first of its kind in India.8074 (of girth less than 60cm) have been saved by means of transplantation in the mined-out reclaimed area till 31st July 2019. With an aim to protect native species, the project has established Sal nursery within reclaimed area. 16737 Sal saplings have been planted in addition to transplantation of 6672 Sal trees. Total sapling plantation over an area of 156.91 ha (including mined out area, external dump, infrastructure and other areas) is about 426000 till 31st July 2019.