NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said India is moving towards reducing coal imports to zero, and the central government has set an ambitious target of one billion tonnes in annual production of coal by 2023-24.
The Home Minister said that coal Private Sector Units (PSUs) and captive miners have also launched steps to enhance production, while an investment of Rs 1,25,000 crore is envisaged under the Infrastructure Investment Scheme during 2020-24 for which 534 projects have been identified.
Shah was speaking on the occasion of launching the Tree Plantation Campaign 'Vriksharopan Abhiyan' of the Ministry of Coal in the presence of Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi here. The Home Minister said the coal sector today is not only ready to fulfill the growing demand for coal but is equally sensitive towards environmental stability.
"The Government is promoting Reclamation and Afforestation in the various coalbed regions. The Prime Minister has set up the district mineral fund with a corpus of Rs 39,000 crore for the development of the mining areas and 35,000 minor projects have been completed."
He said the coal sector is an important pillar of India's economy and will continue to retain its significance in the times to come. During the launch event at his residence, the Home Minister inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of six eco parks and tourism sites. The tree plantation campaign was conducted at more than 130 locations spread in 38 districts of 10 coal or lignite bearing states through video conferencing.
On the occasion, Shah said: "Climate change has impacted the world and only greenery is the solution to this crisis." He said our culture has emphasised that one must not exploit nature but instead must support nature."
"The focal mantra of Indian heritage has been that we should harness natural resources and not exploit them. We ignored this principle at our own peril, leading to depletion of the ozone layer and forming of ozone hole, which in turn resulted in global warming and climate change. There is only one solution to this problem and one that has been mentioned in the 'Puranas' by sages that trees are friends of mankind and only greenery can get us out of this crisis," Shah said. (IANS)