TALCHER:Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) is likely to produce 143 million tonnes (MT) coal in the current financial year against the target of 150 MT, informed Joint Secretary of the Coal Ministry RK Sinha on Monday night.
Speaking to mediapersons after reviewing coal production with top MCL officials, Sinha said Coal India Limited (CIL) will also produce around 590-595 MT coal in 2017-18 against the target of 600 MT.
He said with demand for coal on the rise in the country, the CIL has been given the target of 650 MT in 2018-19 while for MCL, it is 162 MT.
Sinha said MCL is contributing 25 per cent of the total coal produced by CIL. The CIL meets its 80 per cent coal requirement from MCL. No single company can produce such huge amount of coal like MCL, he said.
Providing details of the rising coal demand in the country from power and non-power sectors, Sinha said the country had to import 190 MT in the current fiscal to meet the deficit. Power sector import was billed at 140 MT of the total 190 MT.Defending the Central Government’s decision to open up coal sector for private commercial use, the Joint Secretary said it would not have an adverse impact on CIL. The move will rather help CIL to better its performance, he claimed.
The decision to give coal blocks to private players for commercial mining was taken to ensure efficient supply and production of coal in the country keeping in view the growing demand, Sinha said.
He further informed that 92 per cent of the coal in MCL is of good quality as it is produced by surface miners. “We have zero tolerance against any stone mixing with coal when supplied to consumers,” Sinha said.
The official also defended the coal auction policy of the Centre stating that since 2015, a total of 84 blocks have been either allotted or auctioned.Chairman-cum-Managing Director of MCL Anil Kumar Jha said there is no dearth of coal in any power stations linked with MCL. Reclamation of old mines is being done as per guidelines, he added.Among others, MCL directors JP Singh and OP Singh besides all general managers of Talcher unit were present.