Coal India’s Subsidiary SECL to Invest Rs. 169 Crores in Plantation Projects in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh

SECL Signs MoU with State Nigams for Extensive Plantation and Biodiversity Conservation

Chhattisgarh-based Coal India subsidiary, South Eastern Coalfields (SECL), is set to invest Rs. 169 crores in plantation projects within its operating states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh over the next five years. The company has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chhattisgarh Rajya Van Vikas Nigam (CGRVVN) and Madhya Pradesh Rajya Van Vikas Nigam (MPRVVN) to carry out extensive plantation work in these states. The project aims to plant over 26 lakh saplings in Chhattisgarh and nearly 12 lakh saplings in Madhya Pradesh during the period from 2023-24 to 2027-28, followed by maintenance for four years after each consecutive year of plantation.

Under the terms of the MoU, SECL will allocate Rs. 131.52 crore for plantation in Chhattisgarh and Rs. 38.11 crore in Madhya Pradesh. This collaboration marks the third such initiative by the company. In the previous two MoUs, SECL successfully planted more than 46 lakh saplings in Chhattisgarh and over 16 lakh saplings in Madhya Pradesh between 2013-14 and 2022-23, with a total expenditure of more than Rs. 168 crores.

The plantation will be carried out on lands acquired, leased, purchased, or transferred by the company, including tenancy, government, revenue, and forest land, with expertise and supervision provided by the respective state nigams. Polypot plants aged six to twelve months will be used for the plantation, including various species such as fruit-bearing trees (Jamun, Imli, Bel, Mango, Sitaphal, etc.), medicinal and herbal plants (Neem, Amla, Karanj, etc.), as well as timber value trees (Teak, Sal, Bamboo, Babool, Sissoo, Safed Sirus) and ornamental/avenue plants (Gulmohar, Kachnar, Amaltas, Peepal, Jharul).

Local community needs will also be taken into account, with the selection of plant species guided by the opinion of the local villagers. This initiative is part of SECL’s commitment to boosting green cover and conserving and enhancing biodiversity in and around its mining areas. In the previous financial year (2022-23), SECL achieved its highest plantation record by planting over 8 lakh saplings across 365 hectares. Satellite imagery has shown significant improvements in green cover in areas where SECL has conducted previous plantation work.

In addition to plantation efforts, the company is undertaking various sustainable development initiatives, including the development of eco-parks, oxygen parks, and mine tourism sites on old and abandoned mining sites. Moreover, after scientific treatment, mine water is being supplied to nearby towns and villages for agricultural and domestic use. SECL is also actively promoting the use of renewable energy by developing solar power projects.