State-owned CIL has taken an out-of-the-box initiative to produce sand from overburden at a much cheaper price, the government said on Tuesday. During opencast mining of coal, the strata lying above coal seam is known as overburden, comprising clay alluvial sand and sandstone with rich silica content.
The initiative will not only help in minimising environmental pollution due to sand siltation from overburden, but will be also an option for getting cheaper sand for construction purpose, it added.
Production of sand has already started, the coal ministry said in a statement.
A roadmap of next five years has been drawn to maximise the output of sand from different coal producing companies under Coal India Ltd (CIL) and to become one of the major suppliers of sand in near future, it added.
In this effort, CIL aims to reach a production level of around eight million tonnes of sand within the next five years by commissioning 15 major sand plants in its different coal producing subsidiaries.
By the end of current fiscal, CIL envisages to have nine out of 15 plants with a production of around three lakh cubic metres.