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AI & IoT can play significant role in coal mining: MCL CMD



Artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) can have a significant role to play in ensuring sustainable mining practices, said OP Singh, Chairman-cum-managing Director, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL).

Addressing the Area General Managers (AGMs) and Head of Departments (HoDs) at the workshop on mine closure, social forestry and artificial intelligence held on Saturday, Singh emphasized on the commitment of the company environment protection and socio-economic development of peripheral areas of mines. 

“MCL has made significant improvement in environment protection and community development,” the CMD said, advising the AGMs and HoDs to make efforts, focusing on innovative ways and use of new technology, to ensure sustainable mining practices in the company.

Director (Finance) KR Vasudevan, Director (Personnel) Keshav Rao and Director (Technical/Projects & Planning) Jugal Kumar Borah were also present at the workshop. 

Before the workshop, a coalfields tour was organised for the speakers at the workshop While presenting best practices adopted in MCL mines, Environment Officers of MCL underlined the target areas to make further improvements and invited innovative solutions from the guest speakers.   

Referring to various initiatives taken by MCL in curbing air pollution, the Director (Tech/P&P) said strategy to control the rise of dust at its emergence itself by using new technology coupled with massive tree plantation and infrastructure development have started yielding results at the coalfields area in Odisha.

“The comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI) for Talcher coalfields, which was at 82.09 in 2009 and 72.86 in 2014, was recorded at 46.43 in 2019,” Borah said.

He attributed this significant reduction to measures taken for effective dust suppression at every step of mining, which include elimination of blasting and coal production through surface miners, extensive use of water sprinklers, transportation through coal corridor, use of ‘fog cannons’ for dust suppression on peripheral and operational areas, loading of coal on railway rakes through conveyor-belt based SILO/rapid loading systems, besides massive plantation undertaken by the company.

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