To raise awareness about the importance of coal mining, which forms backbone for most industries, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and Western Coalfields Limited have entered into a unique agreement. Tourists will now be allowed to visit the depth of a WCL coal mine in Saoner, tour an eco-park and visit the open cast mine in Gondegaon.
In a first of its kind initiative in the country, the tourists will be taken inside Saoner Underground Mine No. 1 up to 1.5km from its entrance. It is located about 37km from the city. A unique man riding system will take the tourists inside and WCL guide will facilitate this trip, taking them about 100m down from the ground surface. TOI got special permission for photography inside the mines. “The idea is to educate people on how coal mining is done,” said DM Gokhale, AGM of WCL Nagpur.
According to the five-year MoU signed between KH Govindraj, managing director of MTDC and Rajiv Mishra, MD of WCL, the tourism facilities for visitors, bookings and marketing of the concept will be done by MTDC. The underground mine tour may remain closed during rainy season (from June to September).