While parasailing, if you feel you can touch the sky in Panchgani or Kamshet, you should drive yourself into the sea depths off the coast in Tarkali – you can now descend into the coal mine, which would be 500 meters below the surface, near Nagpur. To get this experience of the hardship of the miners and to learn about all the wonderful machines, this would be the best thing to do.
In Western Coalfields Limited, the 2 mines are lively with the coal power feeding plants, which would be an hour far from Nagpur. MTDC, the state tourism authority has thrown this open to the public. There are two things to be considered: one is Gondegaon, the open cast site, and another would be Soaner, which is completely underground.
Director of Tourism Satish Soni stated – “We are already taking tourists there. With growing popularity across the state, we expect a bigger crowd this season, which is between September and April.” After MoU was signed by the CM Fadnavis, the WCL last month at Nagpur was started by the tours.
According to Jay Kumar Rawal who is the tourism minister, this is the first time in India that such an experiment is tried as there is a very high demand from the students, especially the younger crowd. He further added – “Initially the response was average, but now it is picking up with the Nagpur MTDC witnessing growing online and offline bookings.”
However, MTDC can be used to book all your tours both online or offline. The senior MTDC official said that if there are scarcer than ten travelers, there is an added facility to accommodate them in their next tour date depending on their convenience. The amount that the travelers invest on booking the ticket would be refunded if the passenger is not interested in the tour. Now travelers don’t have to panic if they miss their tour as their money would return to them with ease.
In this tour, travelers also get to experience the tough and hard life of miners. They get to feel the huge machinery that is involved in mining and even the dangers that the miners face. One of the officials at MTDC said – “Buses or private cars take the visitors 35 km from Nagpur to the Saoner mine. Prior to entering the mines, an undertaking will have to be given assuring the miners of no major health issues.”
At the WCL guest house, all the visitors would get a safety gear and close to that is an eco-park that is open for all the visitors. He further added – “A jungle safari on a toy-train which passes through stations-cum-mining galleries give a first-hand idea of underground mining technology.”
Visitors should not miss visiting the popular Adasa Ganesh temple. A tourist from Kolhapur says that this tour would be an eye opener to experience the life of miners. He even added that the miners who extract all the other minerals and black gold would have to ensure state-of-the-art security measure, divert water and blasts.
When doing all of these, there are chances to manage blast effects, quakes, other threats and floods, which are all a part and parcel of their routine.
The mine’s protection force and the special safety officials also double up as instructors and guides, who are careful about ensuring the safety of the visitors.