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Government making all efforts to enhance coal production: Jaiswal

New Delhi, Jan 16 (ANI): Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal on Wednesday said the Central Government is making all efforts to enhance coal production.

Speaking during the inaugural session of the 7th International Exhibition and Conference on Power Sector being jointly organised by the Ministry of Power and FICCI here, Jaiswal said: “In order to fast track development of coal blocks in the country, the Government has proposed to develop some of the CIL coal blocks through mine developer and operator (MDO). Modalities are being worked out in this regard.”

He said that efforts are being made to enhance exploration for enlarging resource base for coal. As against an actual growth of 3.8 percent achieved in the XI Plan, CIL has been asked to target a growth of 7 percent during the XII Plan to ensure more availability of coal through domestic resources.

He further informed that to achieve the projected growth in production a number of new projects are planned to be taken up in PSU coal companies and a number of coal blocks have been allocated to various private and government companies and few more are in the pipeline for allocation.

‘Besides, supplies would also need to be made good through imports,” he added.

Asserting that the technology development is critical in enhancing production, Jaiswal said: ” With a view to ensure improvement in production, productivity and safety CIL has been asked to look into modernization and technology development in the XII Plan.”

“Coal evacuation facilities are important in ensuring movement of coal from production centers to consuming centers. Action has been initiated in case of a number of identified critical rails links in potential coalfields with the help of railways but the same needs fast tracking for realizing the projected production from these fields at the earliest. Cooperation of concerned State Governments in facilitating land acquisition and expediting EC and FC to these projects is equally important,” he added.

With a view to adopt international best practice of trading thermal coals and for ensuring consistency in quality of coal supplies, Jaiswal said that the Government has introduced GCV based grading and pricing of thermal coals in place of the earlier system of UHV.

“Emphasis is laid on strengthening the infrastructure for crushing, sizing and processing of coal besides strengthening sampling infrastructure in coalfields,” he added.

Asserting that the price of coal in India is far below the international coal prices and the same needs to be rationalized for avoiding wastage and in efficient use of the same, Jaiswal said: ” A proposal to import coal with pooling of prices is suggested to bind over the current shortage situation. However, this needs to be studied in depth for a considered view as a number of state governments have expressed their reservation on the proposal.”

“Environmental footprint of coal mining needs to be reduced by adopting international best practices. Proper reclamation of mined out land and creating economic value to the same with a view to hand over the same back to the society is critical for sustaining the coal mining activities in times to come. Similarly, coal usage also needs to be made more environmental friendly through adopting clean coal technologies and improving efficiency levels,” he added. (ANI)