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CENTRE LAUNCHES ‘SINGLE WINDOW CLEARANCE SYSTEM' FOR SMOOTH OPERATIONALISATION OF COAL MINES

CENTRE LAUNCHES ‘SINGLE WINDOW CLEARANCE SYSTEM' FOR SMOOTH OPERATIONALISATION OF COAL MINES

Context

Union Home Minister Amit Shah launches ‘Single Window Clearance System'.

Details

  • It will be an online platform to obtain clearances for smooth operationalization of coal mines.
  • India has set a target to produce 700 million tonnes of coal in FY 2021.
  • Currently, India produces 72 % of its electricity from coal.
  • Coal India Ltd produces around 82% of the total coal production in India. It is the largest coal-producing company in the world and a Maharatna public sector undertaking.
  • Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana are the main coal-producing states of India.

About Coal

  • It is formed from plants and vegetation buried, ‘in situ’ or drifted in from outside to a place, which got covered by deposits of sediments.
  • Coal is a solid fossil fuel and a sedimentary rock composed primarily of carbon.
  • There are three basic grades of coal: i) lignite (brown coal), ii) bituminous (soft coal) and iii) anthracite (hard coal

Formation of coal

  • Coal is the result of plant material that grew in freshwater swamps approximately three hundred million years ago.
  • As this plant material died and accumulated, peat also called peat bog was formed. Since the plant material accumulated underwater, in the swamps decay was inhibited due to lack of oxygen.
  • Oceans inundated many of the areas of peat and sediments from the sea were deposited, over the peat.
  • The weight of these sediments and the heat of the earth gradually changed the composition of the peat bog and coal was formed.
  • Peat is changed into coal after many centuries of being compressed by the weight of sediments.
  • It first changes into low-grade coal known as lignite (brown coal).
  • The percentage of carbon in the lignite is higher than in peat.
  • Continued pressure and heat from the earth change lignite into bituminous soft coal.
  • If the heat and pressure were great enough then anthracite coal (hard coal) would be formed which has the highest heat and carbon content
  • The energy content is greatest in anthracite coal and lowest in lignite.
  • The sulphur content of coal is important because on burning low sulphur coal emits less sulphur dioxide (SO2) so more desirable as a fuel for power plants.

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