15 per cent of coal production growth recorded in first two months of FY19 : Coal and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal
Goyal said that as on March 31, 2017, there was about 68 or 69 million tonnes of stock of the fuel and now they are meeting the demand through ‘enhanced production and dispatch’.
NEW DELHI: Coal and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said the government is working to ensure that no power plant is shut on account of fuel shortages.“As the demand (for coal) is growing very rapidly in the last eight or nine months the so-called feeling of shortages has crept in. But the coal ministry and the Railways Ministry are working together to ensure that at no point of time anybody losing the ability to generate power for lack of availability of coal,” Goyal said.
Goyal said that state-owned Coal India has ramped up its production capacity so that in future, the entire demand is met through domestic supply and power plants won’t have to import the fuel. He added that as on March 31, 2017, there was about 68 or 69 million tonnes of stock of the fuel and now they are meeting the demand through ‘enhanced production and dispatch’.
The increase demand has also led to a 15 per cent production growth of the fuel in the first two months of FY2019, which has also benefitted railways as it has seen its freight going up by 8 per cent in, he said.
The minister also exuded confidence that going forward with the cooperation of the power, coal and railway ministries, the government will ensure adequate coal supply to the power plants across the country.
“What used to happen in 7 0r 8 years has happened in four years. That is the speed with which we have been able to expand the output in coal....And all of this helped us to reduce the dependence on foreign currency utilised for import of coal. It has helped us to reduce the cost of powersignificantly,” the minister explained.
The minister was addressing the media here on completion of four years of the BJP government at the Centre.The remark comes in the wake of rising concerns about inadequate supply of the dry fuel. Last week, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal apprising them about the acute coal shortage of coal in thermal power stations in the national capital. Late last month, media reports emerged about the coal stock at two dozen power stations in the country dipping to an “alarming” level.