Production from 34 Schedule-II coal mines by March end: Coal secy

BHUBANESWAR: A target has been fixed to start coal production from 34 Schedule-II mines by March 31 this year, said Union Coal Secretary Anil Swarup on Friday here.

Swarup chaired a review meeting here with representatives of seven states including Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

The meeting discussed the measures to raise coal exploration and strengthen transport network. It also reviewed the status of captive coal mines.

Swarup said that ten captive mines auctioned by the government have already started mining and others are in the process of mining.

“I am glad to report that around ten mines have already begun mining and others are in the process of mining. This will further augment the availability of coal in the country. Coal India has achieved record production this year. There is a surplus availability of coal at power plants this year with inventories of 25 days as against 5-7 days last year,” said the Coal Secretary.

He said the review meeting was also undertaken to ensure that the captive mines also start moving.

He said emphasis laid on state-centre coordination for coal production and transportation.

Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd’s production would be increased to 250 million tonnes while we have set a target to produce one billion tonne by Coal India by 2020, he added.

The review meeting was held to resolve the bottlenecks arising during the development of the coal blocks across the country. The meeting also discussed steps to enhance coal production and strengthen logistics and infrastructure.

Swarup also met Odisha chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and discussed the issues of state government.