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Steps Proposed by the Government to Reduce Such Huge Imports of Coal

The focus of the Government is to increase coal production to the maximum extent possible by facilitating Environment & Forest clearances expeditiously, pursuing with State Government for assistance in land acquisition and coordinated efforts with Railways for movement of coal. This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

The Minister further stated that the Coal India Limited (CIL) is enhancing production through capacity addition from new projects, use of mass production technologies, and identification of existing ongoing projects with growth potential. In order to strengthen the drilling capacity for exploration, CIL is also bringing in more number of high efficiency hydrostatic drills. The Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL) which does the detailed exploration for CIL has signed an MoU with Mineral Exploration Corporation to enhance exploration capacity. Exploration in some blocks is also envisaged with the help of out sourcing agencies, the Minister added.

Regarding import of coal despite large reserves of coal , the Minister stated that India has adequate coal reserves for meeting its coal requirements and as such these reserves would be adequate to meet the coal requirement at the present demand level. However, at the present juncture, the actual production of coal falls short of the overall demand. Accordingly, the gap between total consumption and domestic supply is being met through import of coal. The import of non-coking coal in the country has increased from 48.6 Mte. in 2009-10 to 131.3 Mte.in 2013-14.

The Minister further stated that on investment by CIL on exploration of coal , the Minister said that the Coal India Limited (CIL) has been investing in exploration and the expenditure incurred during the last three years was Rs. 161.25 crores in 2011-12, Rs. 138.63 crores in 2012-13 and Rs. 310.02 crores in 2013-14. CIL has been able to drill 4.98 lakh meters, 5.62 lakh meters and 6.69 lakh meters respectively during these three years. Because of the detailed exploration undertaken by CIL, about 3-4 billion tonnes of coal reservesis being added each year to the proved category of coal reserves in the country. However, the pace of exploration has been constrained due to limitation on the boreholes in areas under forest cover and also due to law & order problems prevailing in some areas, the Minister added.

RM/RS- USQ4342 – LS

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