TALCHER/PARADIP: Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi on Thursday ruled out any coal crisis in India and said there is a shortage situation only in power plants of the country.After his visit to Talcher coalfield, one of the four richest coal belts in the country, the Union Minister said the scarcity arose because of a stoppage in coal import and abnormal rise in power demand in the country. So far, no power station has been shut down due to coal shortage and the Ministry is striving hard to meet the situation, he informed.
Due to a rise in coal dispatch, the stock position in power plants has been enhanced to five days from the existing four days. Efforts are underway to increase it to a seven or eight-day stock, the Union Minister further said.Stating that CIL registered a record by dispatching 2.2 million tonne coal on Wednesday, Joshi said the average daily dispatch to power stations remains at 2 million tonne. Appreciating MCL’s performance in coal production and dispatch, he said, “We are trying to further improve coal production and dispatch from the company.”
Joshi, accompanied by Minister of State (MoS) for Rail, Coal and Mines Raosaheb Patil Dhanve, inspected mining operations at Balram opencast project in Hingula Area and coal dispatch operations through railway sidings. “With an annual capacity of eight million tonne, this mine is operated by an all-women crew for blasting work,” he said. He also laid the foundation stone of Shramik Gaurav Jal Udyan near Balram opencast project.
The Union Minister held discussions with MCL and railway officials at the sidings and emphasised on further reducing turn-around time of railway wagons. Joshi and the MoS also interacted with coal miners and felicitated best performing workers. Among others, CIL chairman Pramod Agrawal and MCL CMD PK Sinha were present.
Earlier on the day, Joshi and the MoS visited Paradip port and inspected the coal loading system there. They directed officials to fully utilise port facilities to increase coal transportation through sea route. The officials were asked to explore possibilities of using Paradip port as a coal hub.
The Union Minister also visited the site of Rail Receival System near Paradip port where coal is unloaded with the help of wagon-tipplers. He said this system of unloading is efficient, helps save time and demurrage charges, while reducing the spread of coal dust.Chairman of Paradip Port Trust PL Haranadh was present.