On 13th April 2022, the Union Cabinet approved the policy for utilising the land acquired under the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition & Development) Act, 1957 [CBA Act].
The objective of the policy is to facilitate the utilization of lands that are mined out or are rendered unfit for use due to coal mining and to increase the investment and job creation in the coal sector.
The Policy provides a framework for the utilisation of the following types of lands acquired under the CBA Act:
- Lands no longer suitable or economically viable for coal mining activities.
- Lands from which coal has been mined out / de-coaled and such land has been reclaimed.
The Government company which owns the land would lease such land for specific period given under the policy and the entities for leasing shall be selected through a transparent, fair and competitive bid process and mechanism in order to achieve optimal value.
The lands will be considered to set up Coal Washeries, Conveyor Systems, establish Coal Handling Plants, construct Railway Sidings, Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Project Affected Families due to acquisition of land under the CBA Act or other land acquisition law, set up thermal and renewable power projects, set up or provide for coal development-related infrastructure including compensatory afforestation, provide Right of Way, Coal gasification and coal to chemical plants and set up or provide for energy-related infrastructure.
The Policy envisages to establish various coal and energy-related infrastructure, without transfer of ownership from Government companies, would lead to generation of a large number of direct and indirect employment and lead to a better utilisation of mined out lands and prevent them from being illegally encroached. Further, the utilisation of already acquired land would also prevent fresh acquisition of land and related displacement and would promote local manufacturing and industries.