IN THE 101st year since the first underground fire was reported in Jharkhand’s Jharia Coalfields, the government is finally moving on a fast track to shift all major public utility assets — mainly the arterial railway tracks and all train operations — from areas around the coalfield. A technical report by the Director General of Mining Safety, and subsequent observations by multi-disciplinary expert panels, has stated that land around the coalfield has finally started caving in. Public utility assets, notably the age-old railway tracks, may no longer be safe, the experts point out.
Jharia is one of India’s biggest and most productive coalfields and is estimated to have nearly 80 underground fires in the years since 1916. This is seen as the first serious effort by the Central government to solve the 100-year-old problem by dousing the flames and restoring the land. On May 22, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Nripendra Mishra chaired a meeting of officers from Coal, Railways, Geological Survey of India, Jharkhand government, NITI Aayog and other departments to discuss a series of action required for a “master plan” to divert the double line, parts of which coincides with the Grand Chord of the Howrah-Delhi main line — India’s busiest railway corridor. Read More…
Credit By: Indian Express
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