Why in News?
Ministry of Coal has moved forward with a comprehensive Sustainable Development Plan and has initiated its speedy implementation. The primary focus is on making an immediate social impact through Out of Box (OoB) measures besides regular environmental monitoring and mitigation during the mining operations.
o These OoB measures include the use of surplus Mine Water for irrigation & drinking purpose in and around mining areas, extraction & use of Sand from Overburden (OB), promoting Eco-Mine Tourism, encouraging Bamboo Plantation, etc

Utilization of Mine Water:
• Topmost priority is being given to gainful utilization of Mine Water for irrigation &providing treated water for drinking to the rural population in & around the command area of mining subsidiaries of CIL, SCCL & NLCIL.
• Huge volume of mine water released during mining operation is partially utilized for internal consumption by coalmines for providing drinking water in their colonies, dust suppression, industrial use, plantation etc.
• The internal consumption constitutes about 45 % of total mine water leaving a substantial volume for community use.
• Some of the subsidiaries of CIL are already providing mine water for irrigation purposes & drinking water to nearby villages.

Eco Parks:
• 10 new Eco-Parks in different mining areas are under different stages of development in various subsidiaries of CIL, SCCL & NLCIL and will be completed in the next 2 years. 
• Coal companies have already developed 15 eco-parks in various coalfields.

Extraction and use of Sand from Over Burden (OB)
• Extraction of sand from Over Burden (OB) for use as construction & stowing material is another unique initiative promoting sustainable development through gainful utilization of wastes generated during mining. 
• This initiative also lowers the adverse footprint of riverbed mining of sand.

First Mile Connectivity
• First Mile Connectivity (FMC) is another major sustainable initiative by coal companies, where coal is being transported through conveying or belt from Coal Handling Plants to Silo for loading. 
• This process eliminates the movement of coal through the road and thus not only minimizes the environmental pollution but also reduces the carbon footprint.
Bio Reclamation and Tree Plantation

• Bio-Reclamation and massive tree plantation have been one of the key thrust areas of coal companies in promoting environmental sustainability.
• New techniques like seed ball plantation have been adopted in many mines for providing green cover on OB Dumps.
Source: PIB