'Green cover of 50mn trees for clean coal initiative'

Green cover of 50 million trees for clean coal initiative: Economic Survey

Under the initiative about 54,500 hectare of land has been brought under green cover by planting 132 million trees, the Survey for 2020-21 laid in Parliament said

Representative Image. Credit: PTI File Photo

Plans are afoot for plantation of 50 million trees on 20,000 hectare of land by 2030 as part of clean coal initiatives, the Economic Survey for 2020-21 said on Friday.

Under the initiative about 54,500 hectare of land has been brought under green cover by planting 132 million trees, the Survey for 2020-21 laid in Parliament said.

For creating a carbon sink "about 54,500 ha land has been brought under green cover by planting 132 million trees - estimated carbon sink of 2.7 lakh tonnes of CO2 equivalent/year. Plan to cover 20000 ha of additional area by plantation of around 50 million trees by 2030," the Survey said.

The survey further noted that two Coal Bed Methane (CBM) Projects with considerable potential for carbon footprint reduction are in the pipeline.

Further, surface coal gasification projects involving 100 million tonnes (MT) coal by 2030 with relatively lesser carbon footprint are on the anvil.

Underlining that several amendments were brought into the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 through the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020, the Survey said that a total of 11 coal blocks are allocated under Mines and Minerals(Regulation and Development) (MMDR) Act.

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"Further, directions had been issued to the Nominated Authority for allocation of 25 coal blocks by auction for sale of coal. Of the auction of 38 coal mines for commercial mining in June-2020, 19 were successfully auctioned (a success rate of 50 per cent as compared to 30 per cent in the past)," it said.

In FY20, the production of raw coal in India was 729.1 million tonnes (MT) with a minuscule growth of 0.05 per cent over the previous year.

In the April-October period of the current fiscal all India coal production at 337.52 MT, declined by 3.3 per cent YoY.

"The contraction in production is attributable to Covid-19. India is also an importer of coal Industry and Infrastructure importing 248.54 MT of coal in FY20, a growth of 5.7 per cent over FY19," the Survey said.

The energy supply in India is heavily coal-dependent.