Wind Power

Friday, February 22, 2008

Example of plantation done in mined out site – A case study

Example of plantation done in mined out site – A case study

A site at Southern India – running opencast lignite mines (more than 20 million tones of annual capacity) cum coal-fired power plants (capacity about 2500MW). The mines used to generate huge quantity of overburden apart from generating fly-ash from coal-fired power plant. One of the major challenges it has to develop rich cover of green belt.

In fact, excavating more than 20 million tones of lignite annually involves a removal of about 135 million cubic meters of overburden. The overburden excavated is backfilled in mined out areas and the modified slope as per stability, by conventional mining equipments. The dumped overburden is devoid of any nutrients to support plant growth. Adopting indigenously developed techniques, selecting locally available species of plants as per the local climate and establishing organic farming in order to enrich the wastelands created by dumps. While selecting the plant, species of dense foliage have been used for plantation. One of the criteria for selecting the plants was of high growth nature. Planting about 4000 different varieties of plants including fruit bearing trees, herbal cultivation has been undertaken in the reclaimed area. The herbal cultivation is to cater to the needs of the local ayurvedic dispensary.


(a) Dense foliage of green belt created around the mines serves as a barrier, to prevent dust penetration from operation of heavy earth moving machineries and movement of off-the-road vehicles in the mines into nearby dwelling is negligible;

(b) the noise pollution from these sources has been checked quite substantially, because of creation of this green cover. It has been observed that noise level reduces by 10 decibels per every 10m wide green belt development;

(c) Trees reduce mean temperature of the area by 2 degree Celsius;

(d) Trees in an acre of land have the potential to absorb six tones of sulphur dioxide, thus reducing air pollution.

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