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State-owned Coal India will close down high-risk mines that are beyond mitigation, Parliament was informed on Monday. "Coal India Ltd (CIL) has graded all mines in high, moderate and low-risk categories.
Mine-wise action plan to mitigate high and moderate risks and bring such mines into low risk category has been done by CIL," Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. Safety in coal mining is a priority for the Centre, the minister said, adding that government has made it mandatory to annually conduct safety audit of all coal mines. In December last year, CIL arm Eastern Coalfields saw Lalmatia mine collapse that claimed 18 lives. The incident took place on December 29 when a massive mound of earth came crashing down on excavators at the Lalmatia open cast coal mine, the worst such disaster in over a decade.