Coal is an important raw material for heavy industries. Its abundance ensures a rapid industrial growth. But coal mining has its own cost and it has negative externalities.
Major problem with coal mining is threat to environment. Open cast mining results in air pollution because of coal dust and coal transportation leading to suspended particulate matter. Further coal reserve attracts coal consuming industry near by which emits polluting gas.
Coal mining also results in water pollution. The material used for explosion and the hot water is discharged in drainage system. It affects the marine ecosystem.
Illegal mining and coal theft is another issue with coal mining . According to parliamentary standing committee on coal and steel in 2012, reported that coal production is 20% more than what is reported.
Productivity of Indian mines is also low as compared to world standards. CIL has 60% of its workforce in underground mining operation but underground mining produces only 10% output.
Labour health and saftety is another issue. According CAG report, only 8% of the workers are given regular checkup against the mandatory 100%.
Mines closer is another issue. After the mine has stop functioning the land has to be restore, land filling has to be done for open cast mining. But no caution is seen while mine closing