Chhattisgarh-based Coal India subsidiary, South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) is going to invest Rs. 169 crores on plantation in its operating States of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh during the next five years. The company has recently signed MoU with Chhattisgarh Rajya Van Vikas Nigam (CGRVVN) and Madhya Pradesh Rajya Van Vikas Nigam (MPRVVN) for carrying out plantation work in these States. The plantation will be carried out for a period of five years from 2023-24 to 2027-28 with its subsequent maintenance of 4 years for each consecutive year of plantation. As per the MoU, SECL will spend Rs. 131.52 crore in Chhattisgarh and Rs. 38.11 crore in Madhya Pradesh for plantation works.
The company in partnership with the state nigams will plant more than 26 lakh saplings in the state of CG and almost 12 lakh saplings in MP. This is the third such MoU by the company. Through the previous two MoUs the company has planted more than 46 lakh saplings in CG and more than 16 lakh plants in MP between 2013-14 and 2022-23 at a total cost of more than Rs 168 crores.
As per the terms of the MoU the respective nigam of the state will take up the plantation works on Company’s acquired/leased/purchased/transferred land of any type like tenancy, government, revenue and forest land, with due expertise and supervision.
Six to twelve months old (polypot) plants will be used for the plantation work. Different species for plantation include fruit bearing trees such as Jamun, Imli, Bel, Mango, Sitaphal etc., and medicinal/ herbal plants like Neem, Amla, Karanj etc.
In addition to these, timber value trees such as Teak, Sal, Bamboo, Babool, Sissoo, Safed Sirus and Ornamental / Avenue plants like Gulmohar, Kachnar, Amaltas, Peepal, Jharul etc. will also be planted. Keeping in view the needs of the local communities, it is proposed in the MoU that the selection of the species of plants to be carried out shall also be guided by opinion of the local villagers.
In a bid to boost the green cover and conserve and enhance biodiversity, SECL is undertaking extensive plantation in and around its mining areas. In the financial year 2022-23 the company carried out the highest plantation in its history by planting more than 8 lakh saplings in an area of 365 hectares. Satellite imagery has shown considerable improvement in green cover in areas where SECL has conducted plantation work.
The company is also taking various sustainable development initiatives where eco-parks, oxygen parks and mine tourism sites have been developed on old/abandoned mining sites. After scientific treatment, mine water is being supplied to nearby towns and villages for agriculture and domestic use. The company is also developing solar power projects for promoting the use of renewable energy.