Every litre of ground water that is used for mining of coal will now have to be processed back by coal companies in line with standards set for appropriate usage of that water, Union minister of state (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal, Mines and RE, Piyush Goyal said during an interaction with reporters on Monday.
“I am making this as a rule…whatever water is used, they (coal companies) will have to process it and give it out to the local areas for agricultural use or even for drinking purposes. The processing of water is being done even now but I am not satisfied with the way and to the extent the processing is being done…so have asked all coal companies to process water to the extent that it can even be used for drinking purposes,” the minister said.
World over, coal mining as also washing is extremely water intensive and at times uses ground water in areas that are already looming with water crisis.
As coal will continue to be the mainstay for power generation in most countries, even as government’s and nations are increasingly moving towards the green energy generation, the efficient treatment of water that is used in coal mining and thermal power generation has become a must.
“A coal company recently told me that they generate 4 crore litres of water everyday…can you imagine the kind of impact this can have in the local areas if the water is properly processed,” Goyal said, adding that he was trying hard to change age old traditional practices even as they are taking time.