Northern Coalfields Limited – Implementing CSR sincerely

Northern Coalfields Limited – Implementing CSR sincerely

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Northern Coalfields Limited

Coal companies are generally prone to community resistance for undertaking mining activities. Therefore CSR is an important tool in the hands of Coal Companies for mitigating potential community resistance. Northern Coalfields Limited commonly known as NCL, a subsidiary of Coal India, situated at Singrauli District of Madhya Pradesh seems to be undertaking CSR sincerely with a genuine intent. NCL, through its developmental activities contributed in improving the quality of life through self-employment schemes, imparting education and providing health care. So, the story of Northern Coalfields is a good story to go through.

Northern Coalfields Limited, commonly known as NCL, is situated at Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh. It is a Mini Ratna company of Government of India and is a subsidiary of Maharatna Company; Coal India Ltd. Realizing the potential of its coal production, NCL was formed as a separate subsidiary of Coal India Limited in the year 1985. The employee strength of NCL is 15,060 including 1690 executives and 13370 non-executives.

The present mining operations of NCL are spread over Moher sub basin of Singrauli Coalfield in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. NCL produces more than 12 per cent of the national coal production from its 10 highly mechanized opencast mines. For meeting its coal production and off take goals, NCL has deployed more than a thousand Heavy Earth Moving machines in its coal mines. With the help of these mammoth machines, NCL is the major contributor of coal to the Nation. However, it is presently operating only in the radius of about 30 Kilometres. The company is headquartered in Singrauli with and also has a techno-friendly central workshop for maintenance of Heavy Earth Moving Machinery. NCL had produced and despatched 84.10 million tonne and 83.46 million tonne of coal respectively during the last fiscal against the target of 82 million tonne of coal production and despatch each which are the all-time high figures in history of NCL. In the backdrop of such splendid performance, the earlier assigned target was 91 million tonne was later revised to 93 million tonne of coal production and despatch each. Coal being the primary source of energy is hugely demanded product in the nation. NCL supplies coal to power plants of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (UPRVUNL). In addition to fulfilling coal requirement of these two key consumers, NCL also supplies coal to power plants of Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd, Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) and Haryana State Electricity Board along with a few private players as well. With balance mineable coal reserve of Singrauli Coalfield being 9.65 Billion Tonnes, the company growth trajectory is very high.


NCL supplies more than 90% of its produced coal to the nearby pithead thermal power plants. The coal requirement for 12% of the installed power generation capacity of the thermal power plants of the nation is contributed by NCL.

NCL produces coal through mechanized opencast mines but its commitments towards environmental protection is total. It is one of very few companies engaged in mining activities, which has got unified Integrated Management System (IMS) complying to Standard ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 for simultaneous management of economic, environmental and occupational health and safety.


The products of Northern coalfields are as follows:


This is mainly used as thermal grade coal for power generation. It is also used for cement, fertilizer, glass, ceramic, paper, chemical and brick manufacturing, and for other heating purposes.


This coal has undergone the process of coal washing or coal beneficiation, resulting in value addition due to reduction in ash percentage. This is mainly used in manufacturing of hard coke for steel making. Beneficiated and washed non-coking coal is used mainly for power generation. Beneficiated non-coking coal is used by cement, sponge iron and other industrial plants.


Rejects are the products of coal beneficiation process after separation of middling. It is used for Fluidized Bed Combustion (FBC) Boilers for power generation, road repairs, briquette (domestic fuel) making, land filling, etc.


To emerge as a global player in the primary energy sector committed to provide energy security to the country by attaining environmentally & socially sustainable growth through best practices from mine to market.


To produce and market the planned quantity of coal and coal products efficiently and economically in an eco-friendly manner with due regard to safety, conservation and quality.


Ensuring energy security of the nation with inclusive growth.

NCL, through its community development programmes, has significantly contributed towards improvement and development of the area. It is helping local tribal, non-tribal and project-affected persons in overall improvement of quality of their life through self-employments schemes, imparting education and providing health care. The strategies adopted to undertake developmental activities for the underprivileged in concerned communities include corporate community investments and Public partnerships.

Corporate community investments include education, agriculture, livelihood, health, community asset creation, promotion of sports and culture by organizing and sponsoring events. Partnerships with government agencies/local administration/state govt have been taken up in projects like poultry farming, swachha vidyalaya abhiyaan, electrification of villages etc.

Major stress is being given on provision of proper infrastructure to the villagers, which in turn facilitates the improvement of standard of living and livelihood opportunities to the poor and marginalized. Special attention is being given to capacity building of poor/marginalized and women residing in nearby areas through different skill development and self-employment programs under CSR.


  • Gaon Jodo Abhiyaan
  • Swaksh Jal
  • Aadhaar
  • Sab Swasth
  • Sab Sakshar
  • Kaushal
  • Khel Tarang

GAON JODO ABHIYAN: Accessibility and connectivity are two major factors for the development of any area. NCLs Gaon Jodo Abhiyaan is a step taken by NCL to connect the different villages in Singrauli and adjoining areas with town areas with roads. With the road connectivity, the villagers have started bringing their products to market which otherwise was being arranged through middleman. This has immediately increased their earning capacity. Further many unemployed youths are getting jobs in the town with the start of public transport.

SWAKSH JAL: There is no doubt that water is an essential requirement for everybody. NCL management has installed tube wells, hand pumps in rural areas to ensure availability of pure drinking water. Check dams and deepening of ponds are also undertaken by NCL to utilize rainwater optimally.

AADHAR: Aadhar Project of NCL supports the society by providing basic infrastructure for the poor and needy people of Singrauli and Sonebhadra. Different activities done under this project are constructing community buildings, school buildings, low cost houses, construction of public toilets, electrification of villages, installation of solar lights and lanterns in the villages of Singrauli and Sonebhadra. These types of basic infrastructure facilities have increased the standard of living of the villagers in the nearby areas.

SAB SWASTH: NCL organizes regular health camps for needy section of the society. Nehru ShatabdiChikitsalaya and Central Hospital of NCL have one of the best doctors in this area with all modern healthcare facilities. NCL team of doctors visit different villages and provide health care to the people free of cost. NCL provides free medical facilities to all the BPL card holders living in and around our projects through all our dispensaries and hospitals. NCL also has a mobile van to visit various villages and provide healthcare facilities there.

SAB SAKSHAR: The main aim of Sab Sakshar is to increase the literacy rate of Singrauli and areas around NCL. In addition to increasing overall literacy rate, the project also aims to bridge the gap between male and female literacy rates.

KAUSHAL: NCL Management has planned to increase the living standard of people living in and around Singrauli by giving them vocational training courses and thus helping them to get employment. NCL provides vocational training programs through various organizations. Some of the organizations are as follows:

  1. Central Board of Workers Education
  2. MP Fishery Department
  3. Vehicle Training Institutes
  4. Sewing and Embroidery Training Institutes

KHEL TARANG: Khel Tarang project of NCL supports sports and cultural activities for the local people of Singrauli and Sonebhadra. Sports and culture are the two foundations of Indian civilization. NCL has always tried to build sports and cultural capabilities of local population. For this, sports and cultural activities are organized by different projects of NCL in which teams from various villages participate.

CSR Budget for the year 2017-2018: Rs. 7247.00 Lakhs
Sr No. YEAR CSR Fund Allocation (in Rs. Lakhs) Expenditure (in Rs. Lakhs) % Exp
1 2013-2014 3843.25 3972.00 103.35
2 2014-2015 8028.00 6176.60 76.94
3 2015-2016 7660.00 15397.00 201.00
4 2016-2017 7423.00 7733.00 104.18

Note: Rs. 1851.40 lakhs unspent in 2014-15 was carried forward and spent in FY 2015-16.


Employees are engaged round the year in various CSR activities at all the mines/projects as per requirement. Particularly at the mines/projects CSR activities are conducted through a team of inter-departmental employees mainly comprising of CSR, Environment, Personnel, Medical, Civil & Town Administration Departments. Workmen from various departments also participate as per requirement.


The key positive impacts provided by the company benefitting the surrounding community under CSR are as follows:

  • Improvement in driving comfort resulting in safety & reduced travel time due to construction of village road under CSR
  • Enabling underprivileged to complete higher education by providing scholarships
  • Enhancement in the standard of living by facilitating livelihood medium by providing various training like- security guard, driving, poultry etc.
  • Better living conditions for slum dwellers by constructing houses under IHSDP scheme
  • Better access to water for various chores for villagers living around NCL by installation of hand pumps
  • Training and capacity building for self-employment by providing sewing training
  • Access to free medical checkup & treatment to people around the project by organizing various medical camps
  • Better access to clean drinking water for villagers living around project areas by installing R.O Plants
  • Ground water recharge and access to water for daily chores by digging new ponds and deepening existing ponds
  • Providing basic social infrastructure and upgrading the same by construction of community halls, school compound walls, additional classrooms/labs etc.
  • Promotion of sports by organizing tournaments, sponsoring teams and individual players
  • Providing medical facilities at nominal rates to the local villagers through NCLs 3 Hospitals & 10 Dispensaries

NCL ensures energy security of the nation with inclusive development. It is one of very few companies engaged in mining activities, which has got unified Integrated Management System (IMS) complying with Standard ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 for simultaneous management of economic, environmental and occupational health and safety.

NCL, through its community development programmes, has significantly contributed towards improvement and development of the area. It is helping local tribal, non-tribal and project-affected persons in overall improvement of quality of their life through self-employment schemes, imparting education and providing health care.


At present, NCL is covering 50 surrounding villages under their CSR activities. NCL is trying to widen its coverage in terms of the number of villages covered and population served under CSR. They further trying to bring more villages under the ambit of their CSR.
NCL has been consistently spending over and above the mandated 2% of profit as per Companies Act 2013 since last two financial years.
NCL intends to adopt few villages and develop them as model villages with all basic modern amenities for holistic development. In terms of diversity of CSR activities, NCL is diversifying its CSR activities at a rapid pace in line with Schedule VII of Companies Act 2013.
Based on the above, it may be said that NCL is committed to making an impact on the social and environmental parameters relevant to its operations. However, there are immense possibilities of more CSR activities the company can focus on.

Interview of P. K. Sinha – CMD, Northern Coalfields Limited

About the author

CSR VISION is India's (probably World's) first monthly magazine in print devoted to CSR and Sustainable Development for bringing together all stakeholders of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT at a global and local levels and act as a platform for promoting strategic CSR and sustainable development practices through dissemination of information and knowledge.