Singareni Collieries Coal Mine Expansion in Crocodile Sanctuary
Hyderabad head quartered Singareni Collieries Company Limited has embarked on a massive expansion of its coal mining operations and has sought No
Hyderabad head quartered Singareni Collieries Company Limited has embarked on a massive expansion of its coal mining operations and has sought No Objection Certificate from the Telangana State Board of Wild Life and National Board of Wild Life, for over 3,296.47 hectares, of which as much as 372.53 hectares are reserve forests. The entire area of 3,296.47 hectares, including the reserved forests fall under the Eco-Sensitive Zone of the Siwaram Crocodile Sanctuary, which has around 60 crocodiles and is located 6.07 kilometers from the sanctuary. This area comes mostly under Peddapalli and partly in Mancherial district.
According to the documents submitted by SCCL seeking clearance from wildlife boards, the SCCL wants to amalgamate 11 of its coal mines in the Ramagundam area of Peddapalli district, in order to pump up the amount of coal being mined from there, from the present capacity of 34.54 million tonnes per year.
However, to execute this plan, SCCL requires environment clearance and for this the NOC from Telangana SBWL and NBWL is essential. The SCCL also furnished information that drilling of 323 boreholes in forest land and 887 boreholes, both of four inches each, in non-forest land would be required for prospecting of the mineral.
In its justification for wildlife clearance over such a large area, the SCCL has said that it was the only coal producing company in South India and had been meeting a large part of the demand for coal in this region. It also said that to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for coal and to meet the targets set by the Ministry of Coal, it was embarking on large-scale expansion. It also said that coal mining was site specific in nature and alternatives as such were not considered.