Friday, July 10th, 2020

Guidelines for Exploratory Bore Holes

INVC,, Delhi,, The Ministry of Environment and Forests through Forest Survey of India (FSI) and the Ministry of Coal through Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMPDI) have jointly undertaken an exercise to overlay the forest cover map on the coal block boundaries in respect of 9 coalfields in the country and identified various coal blocks as category ‘A’ (No-Go) and Category ‘B’ (Go). As per this exercise, 153 coal blocks covering about 2,68,000 ha have been categorized as category ‘A’ out of total number of 602 coal blocks covering about 6,48,750 ha. The exercise for other coalfields is still on. The Forest Advisory Committee a statutory committee under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, in its meeting held on 17.06.2010, revisited the proposal for exploratory bore holes in forests by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) on the plea that GSI’s activities are of general survey nature and done systematically all over the country for locating mineralization for better land use planning. The Committee, after considering the views of Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Coal, GSI, Indian Bureau of Mines & others and taking into account the non-destructive nature of exploratory bore hole drilling and their insignificant impact on the ecology of forest areas, recommended for allowing Geo-scientific investigation by GSI and other Government agencies and Prospecting Exploration (G3) under prospecting license, involving shallow pitting, trenching and sampling, including collection of samples of rock, soil, fossils, water, stream sediment, etc., and drilling of up to 20 boreholes per sq km up to 8 inch diameter in the case of coal, lignite and metallic ores and 16 boreholes per sq km up to 6.6 inch diameter in the case of non-metallic ores without attracting the provisions of the Act provided there is no felling of trees.

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