Government of India

Ministry of Environment & Forests

Paryavaran Bhawan,


New Delhi -110510.


Dated:  23rd December 2008


The Chief Executive Officer,

M/s Mahan Coal Company Ltd.,

Near NCL boundary, Bramshi Colony,

Vindhya Nagar Road, P.O. Waidhan,

District Sidhi, M.P. – 486 886.


Sub:     Mahan Opencast Coal Mine Project (8.5 MTPA) of M/s Mahan Coal Company Ltd., located in village Amelia, Bhuder, Suggo, Tehsil Waidhan, District Sidhi Madhya Pradesh - environmental clearance – reg.



This is with reference to your application vide letter dated 05.12. 2006 and this Ministry’s letter dated 07.02.2007 granting the Terms of Reference (TOR) to the above-mentioned project and your subsequent application dated 03.11.2007 for environmental clearance based on TOR and subsequent letters dated 03.10.2008 and 16.12.2008 on the above-mentioned subject. The Ministry of Environment & Forests has considered your application. It has been noted that the project is for opening a new Mahan Opencast Coal Mine Project for an annual production capacity of 8.5 MTPA over a total lease area of 1090 ha. The project is to supply 5 MTPA coal to 1000 MW Power Project of M/s Essar Power Limited located at a distance of about 5 km and 3.5 MTPA of coal to 650 MW Power Project of M/s HINDALCO Industries Ltd located at a distance of 22km form the ML.  Of the entire lease area of 1090 ha, 1072.35 ha of lease falls within forestland which forms a part of the Mahanban Reserve Forest, and 17.65 ha is revenue land. A number of rare and endangered fauna such as Leopard, Sloth Bear, Hyeana, Chinkara are found in the study area. A Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan has been prepared. There are a number of Reserve forests such as the Vihar RF, Mohar RF and Chokra RF situated within the 10km of the core zone. Forestry clearance has been applied for. There are no National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuary, Biosphere Reserves found in the 15 km buffer zone. The block is drained by a number of seasonal nalas flowing from east to low lying areas within the ML and form a part of the Rampa river which form aprt of the Rehand River. On the western side, the drainage is controlled by River Mahan. The project involves 23 PAFs of land oustees from the villages of Budher and Amelia.  Of the total lease area, quarry area will be 798.27 ha, 12 ha of topsoil dump, 138.70 ha is external OB dump, 33.17 ha is greenbelt, 35.61 ha for infrastructure facilities and roads, and 72.25 ha of undisturbed area (safety zone). The project does not involve a coal washery.


Rated capacity of the mine is 8.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of coal production. Mining would be mechanised involving shovel-dumper and surface miner for coal extraction and shovel-dumper for OB removal. Coal is transported from CHP by belt conveyor to Essar Power Project and by rail to HINDALCO Power Project. Ultimate working depth of the mine by opencast operations is 160m below ground level (bgl). Groundwater in the study area is about 18m below ground level (bgl). Water table will be intersected during the first year of mining operation. Peak water demand is 2700 m3/d of water, which will be met from mine sump/pit water and from groundwater (bore wells for domestic consumption). The total estimated OB generation over life of mine would be 707.02 Mm3 and topsoil would be 3.672 Mm3. Of the total OB generation, of which about 75.5 Mm3 would be dumped in external OB dump of 120m height. OB of 48.50 Mm3 would also be temporarily stored in the mineralised area and rehandled to backfill the void. Backfilling would begin from the 3rd year onwards. The balance OB would be backfilled into the decoaled void of 626.61 ha. The total area to be brought under plantation would be 882.73 ha. In the post mining stage, an area of 171.66 ha of the decoaled void would be converted into a water body of a maximum depth of 26m. Life of the mine is 17 years. Mining Plan for the project was approved by MOC on 14.06.2007. Public Hearing was conducted on 29.07.2007 by the M.P. State Pollution Control Board. Capital cost of the project is Rs. 1700 crores.


2.         The Ministry of Environment & Forests has examined the application in accordance with Section 12 of the EIA Notification 2006 and under the provisions thereof, hereby accords environmental clearance for the above-mentioned Mahan Coal Mine Project of M/s Mahan Coal Company Ltd. over a over a total lease area of 1200 ha for production of coal at 8.5 MTPA rated capacity under the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 subject to the compliance of the terms and conditions mentioned below:


A.         Specific Conditions


(i)         No mining operations shall be undertaken in the forestland within the lease area, until forestry clearance has been obtained under the provisions of FC Act, 1980.


(ii)        Mining shall be carried out as per statuette at a safe distance from nala and River flowing near the ML. A Mine Drainage Plan with a surface drainage design of the mine resulting from surface run-offs and mine discharge water based on a peak rainfall data shall be prepared and implemented.


(iii)       OB shall be stacked at the earmarked external OB dumpsite(s) within the ML area. The ultimate slope of the dump shall not exceed 28o. OB stacked temporarily in the mineralised area shall be rehandled and backfilled into the decoled void. For increasing the dump height beyond 60m, slope stability studies shall be carried out and a Report thereon submitted to MOEF. Monitoring and management of reclaimed dumpsites shall continue until the vegetation becomes self-sustaining. Compliance status shall be submitted to the Ministry of Environment & Forests and its Regional office located at Bhopal on a yearly basis.


(iv)       Catch drains and siltation ponds of appropriate size shall be constructed to arrest silt and sediment flows from soil, OB and mineral dumps. The water so collected shall be utilised for watering the mine area, roads, green belt development, etc. The drains shall be regularly desilted and maintained properly.

Garland drains (size, gradient and length) and sump capacity shall be designed keeping 50% safety margin over and above the peak sudden rainfall and maximum discharge in the area adjoining the mine site. Sump capacity shall also provide adequate retention period to allow proper settling of silt material.


(v)        Dimension of the retaining wall at the toe of the dumps and OB benches within the mine to check run-off and siltation shall be based on the rainfall data.


(vi)       Dust suppression measures shall include wet drilling, water sprinkling on haul roads, transfer points/loading points coal loading to belt conveyor to be enclosed and provided with dust extraction systems and water sprinklers. Coal bunkers shall be provided with bag filter. Plantation shall be developed around areas such as CHP.


(vii)       All approach roads and major haul roads shall be black topped. Measures for suppression of dust from transfer points at CHP and at Railway siding shall include mist type water sprinklers of optimal capacity.


(viii)      Drills shall be wet operated only.


(ix)               Controlled blasting shall be practiced with use of delay detonators and only during daytime. The mitigative measures for control of ground vibrations and to arrest the fly rocks and boulders shall be implemented.


(x)        No mineral processing unit such as a coal washery shall be installed in the ML without prior approval of this Ministry.


(xi)       A progressive afforestation plan covering an area not less than 882.73 ha shall be implemented which includes reclaimed external OB dump (138.70 ha), topsoil dump (12 ha), backfilled area (626.61 ha), along ML boundary, along roads and infrastructure (10 ha), greenbelt (33.17 ha) and safety zone (72.25 ha) by planting native species including Mahua and Tendu in consultation with the local DFO/Agriculture Department. The density of the trees shall be around 2500 plants per ha.


(xii)             Partial backfilling shall start by the 3rd year of operations and concurrent backfilling thereafter. Of the total excavated area of 798.27 ha, an area of 626.61ha shall be backfilled and reclaimed with plantation/afforestation by planting native plant species in consultation with the local DFO/Agriculture Department. The density of the trees shall be around 2500 plants per ha. The balance area of 171.66 ha of the decoaled area, left as void and being converted into a water reservoir of a max. depth of 26m, shall be gently sloped and the upper benches of the reservoir shall be stabilised with plantation and the periphery of the reservoir fenced.


(xiii)            The Conservation Plan prepared for the fauna and flora found in the study area shall include a Plan for protection and conservation of the rare and the endangered fauna such as Leopard and Bear found in the study area. The Programme for conservation of the wildlife particularly the rare and endangered species/Schedule-I fauna and flora shall be implemented in consultation with the concerned Forest and Wildlife Departments in the State Government. Separate funds not less than Rs. 410.23 lakhs shall be earmarked for implementation of the various activities there under such as leaving areas within the ML undisturbed for movement of the fauna to enter the neibhoruing forests, construction of check dams for augmenting water availability for the wild animals, fodder grass availability and removal of weeds, etc and the status thereof shall be regularly reported to this Ministry and the MOEF Regional Office, Bhopal.

                        The project proponent shall also participate in the Regional Action Plan for Conservation of endangered for and fauna found within the lease and in the buffer zone (study area) whenever such a Plan gets formulated by the State Government. Separate funds shall be earmarked for implementation of the various activities under the Regional Action Plan.


(xiv)            The company shall obtain prior approval of CGWA/CGWB Regional Office for use of groundwater for mining operations. Further requirement of water, if any, will be from rainwater harvesting measures and recycled mine water.


(xv)             Regular monitoring of groundwater level and quality shall be carried out by establishing a network of exiting wells and construction of new peizometers. The monitoring for quantity shall be done four times a year in pre-monsoon (May), monsoon (August), post-monsoon (November) and winter (January) seasons and for quality in May. Data thus collected shall be submitted to the Ministry of Environment & Forests and tot eh Central Pollution Control Board quarterly within one month of monitoring.


(xvi)            The Company shall put up artificial groundwater recharge measures for augmentation of groundwater resource in case monitoring of ground water table indicates a declining trend. Any additional water requirement for mining operation shall be met from rainwater use only. The project authorities shall meet water requirement of nearby village(s) in case the village wells go dry due to dewatering of mine.


(xvii)          ETP shall also be provided for treatment of effluents from workshop, and recycled and reused to the maximum extent possible. Any effluents discharged onto the land/onto surface waters shall meet the standards for discharge. The water at the outlet points would be regularly monitored and records maintained thereof.

(xviii)         Colony if any shall be provided with STP. Treated water shall be used for green belt development.


(xix)            Besides carrying out regular periodic health check up of their workers, 10% of the workers identified from workforce engaged in active mining operations shall be subjected to health check up for occupational diseases and hearing impairment, if any, through an agency such as NIOH, Ahmedabad within a period of one year and the results reported to this Ministry and to DGMS.


(xx)             Compensation for 23 PAFS (land oustees) shall be based on norms not less than that given in the National R&R Policy.


(xxi)            For monitoring land use pattern and for post mining land use, a time series of landuse maps, based on satellite imagery (on a scale of 1: 5000) of the core zone and buffer zone, from the start of the project until end of mine life shall be prepared once in 3 years (for any one particular season which is consistent in the time series), and the report submitted to MOEF and its Regional office at Bhopal.


(xxii)          A Final Mine Closure Plan along with details of Corpus Fund shall be submitted to the Ministry of Environment & Forests five year before mine closure for approval.



B.         General Conditions


(i)                  No change in mining technology and scope of working shall be made without prior approval of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.


(ii)                No change in the calendar plan including excavation, quantum of mineral coal and waste shall be made.


(iii)               Four ambient air quality monitoring stations shall be established in the core zone as well as in the buffer zone for monitoring SPM, RSPM, SO2 and NOx and heavy metals such as Hg, Pb, Cr, As, etc.  Location of the stations shall be decided based on the meteorological data, topographical features and environmentally and ecologically sensitive targets in consultation with the State Pollution Control Board.


(iv)               Data on ambient air quality (SPM, RSPM, SO2, NOx and heavy metals such as Hg, Pb, Cr, As, etc) shall be regularly submitted to the Ministry including its Regional Office and to the State Pollution Control Board and the Central Pollution Control Board once in six months.


(v)                Fugitive dust emissions (SPM, RSPM, and heavy metals such as Hg, Pb, Cr, As, etc) from all the sources shall be controlled regularly monitored and data recorded properly. Water spraying arrangement on haul roads, wagon loading, dump trucks (loading and unloading) points shall be provided and properly maintained.


(vi)               Adequate measures shall be taken for control of noise levels below 85 dBA in the work environment. Workers engaged in blasting and drilling operations, operation of HEMM, etc shall be provided with ear plugs/muffs.


(vii)             Industrial wastewater (workshop and wastewater from the mine) shall be properly collected, treated so as to conform to the standards prescribed under GSR 422 (E) dated 19th May 1993 and 31st December 1993 or as amended from time to time before discharge. Oil and grease trap shall be installed before discharge of workshop effluents.


(viii)            Vehicular emissions shall be kept under control and regularly monitored. Vehicles used for transporting the mineral shall be covered with tarpaulins and optimally loaded.


(ix)               Environmental laboratory shall be established with adequate number and type of pollution monitoring and analysis equipment in consultation with the State Pollution Control Board.


(x)                Personnel working in dusty areas shall wear protective respiratory devices and they shall also be provided with adequate training and information on safety and health aspects.

            Occupational health surveillance programme of the workers shall be undertaken periodically to observe any contractions due to exposure to dust and to take corrective measures, if needed.


(xi)               A separate environmental management cell with suitable qualified personnel shall be set up under the control of a Senior Executive, who will report directly to the Head of the company.


(xii)             The funds earmarked for environmental protection measures shall e kept in separate account and shall not be diverted for other purpose. Year-wise expenditure shall be reported to this Ministry and its Regional Office at Bhopal.


(xiii)            The Regional Office of this Ministry located at Bhopal shall monitor compliance of the stipulated conditions. The Project authorities shall extend full cooperation to the office(s) of the Regional Office by furnishing the requisite data/ information/monitoring reports.


(xiv)            A copy of the will be marked to concerned Panchayat/ local NGO, if any, from whom any suggestion/representation has been received while processing the proposal.


(xv)             State Pollution Control Board shall display a copy of the clearance letter at the Regional  Office, District Industry Centre and Collector’s Office/Tehsildar’s Office for 30 days.


(xvi)             The Project authorities shall advertise at least in two local newspapers widely circulated around the project, one of which shall be in the vernacular language of the locality concerned within seven days of the clearance letter informing that the project has been accorded environmental clearance and a copy of the clearance letter is available with the State Pollution control Board and may also be seen at the website of the ministry of Environment & Forests at The compliance status shall also be uploaded by the project authorities in their website so as to bring the same in the public domain.


3.         The Ministry or any other competent authority may stipulate any further condition for environmental protection.


4.         Failure to comply with any of the conditions mentioned above may result in withdrawal of this clearance and attract the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.


5.         The above conditions will be enforced inter-alia, under the provisions of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 along with their amendments and Rules. The proponent shall ensure to undertake and provide for the costs incurred for taking up remedial measures in case of soil contamination, contamination of groundwater and surface water, and occupational and other diseases due to the mining operations.





Copy to:

1.       Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

2.       Secretary, Department of Environment & Forests, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Secretariat, Bhopal.

3.       Chief Conservator of Forests, Regional office (EZ), Ministry of Environment & Forests, E-2/240 Arera Colony, Bhopal – 462016.

4.       Chairman, Madhya Pradesh State Pollution Control Board, Paryavaran Parisar, E-5, Arera Colony, Bhopal – 462016.

5.       Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board, CBD-cum-Office Complex, East Arjun Nagar, New Delhi -110032.

6.       Member-Secretary, Central Ground Water Authority, Ministry of Water Resources, Curzon Road Barracks, A-2, W-3 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi.

7.       District Collector, Sidhi, Government of Madhya Pradesh, New Delhi.

8.       Monitoring File         9.         Guard File          10.        Record File.