The draft Action Plan on Climate Change prepared by the Orissa government in association with the World Bank to address concerns pertaining to climate change has envisaged an investment of Rs 115 crore in the mining sector to implement mitigation and adaptation measures.
The mining sector specific plan has suggested 42 action points in all which includes 29 mitigation measures, seven adaptation measures and the remaining six measures being both mitigation as well as adaptation measures.
The state government has constituted a nine-member working group on mining headed by the state steel and mines secretary Manoj Ahuja with Rama Nagaraj Reddy, chief conservator of forests (forest diversion) as the convener of the group.
According to this plan, the areas of high priority include preparation of a draft state mineral policy incorporating climate change concerns, carrying out a study to determine appropriate policy instruments to promote energy efficiency in mining clusters and mineral transport and conduct a study to identify the potential of beneficiation of low grade iron ore, manganese, graphite and chrome ore.
Besides, a study would be conducted to explore best practices in metal mining, establish a robust system of environmental monitoring in major mining clusters, protection of water harvesting structures from pollution and capacity reduction in catchments in mining intensive areas.A budget of Rs 30 crore has been indicated for protection of water harvesting structures which would be the joint responsibility of the steel and mines and water resources department.
The plan has also emphasized on creation and maintenance of green zones in major mining clusters, imparting training on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to the officials of the state steel and mines department, Directorate of Mines, Indian Bureau of Mines as well as State Pollution Control Board and identify areas in mining processes where energy savings and emission reduction can be achieved.The creation and maintenance of green zones in major mining clusters would involve an investment of Rs 20 crore and the amount will be funded by the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority of the Centre and the Orissa government.
Similarly, the draft plan has set aside an indicative budget of Rs 10 crore on the training of the concerned mining officials.
To achieve this objective, the draft plan suggested the identification of a host training institute to assess the training needs and preparation of training modules, establish a Training & Research Institute on Climate Change and also establish collaborations with institutes of national repute like IITs and Indian School of Mines-Dhanbad.
The plan has stressed on preparation of Regional Sustainable Mining Plans for the Joda-Barbil region, Talcher-Angul belt, Ib valley area, Mayurbhanj iron ore zone and Sundergarh limestone belt.