CAG blames improper deployment of manpower to monitor environmental impact of Coal India

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 11, 2019

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has highlighted inconsistencies in deployment of manpower for monitoring the environmental impact of Coal India’s activities.

This observation has been made in the CAG report on assessment of environmental impact due to mining activities and its mitigation in Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its subsidiaries.

“While the deployment of executives exceeded the sanctioned strength at CIL Headquarters (HQ) in all the years, it fell short at mines, during the period 2013-2018. The extent of excess deployment in CIL HQ ranged between 20 and 120 per cent of the sanctioned strength during 2013-2018,” the CAG said.

On the other hand, “North Eastern Coalfield (NEC) mines experienced shortage of executives ranging between 33 and 100 per cent. There were inconsistencies in deployment of manpower for environmental activities in the subsidiaries too,” the CAG noted.

The CAG also noted that even after a lapse of nine years, since Jharia Master Plan was approved, CIL subsidiary Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) did not formulate fire fighting activities as envisaged.

“Fire fighting activities commenced only in 25 projects (as against 45 projects identified). The fires thus continued to endanger the lives of the people residing in and around the fire area, besides adversely impacting the environment,” the CAG said.

Suggesting steps that could be taken, the CAG said, “The CIL subsidiaries may adopt two-pronged strategy for pollution control. The capital works relating to pollution control measures may be completed expeditiously. The plantation works may also be taken up simultaneously and aggressively to increase green cover and restore ecological balance in and around the mines.”

Published on December 11, 2019

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