Production from Schedule-II coal blocks by March-end: Official

Bhubaneswar, Jan 29 (IANS) A target has been fixed to start coal production from all Schedule-II mines by March 31 this year, union Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said on Friday.

After taking a review meeting here with representatives of seven states, including Odisha, Swarup said the country has 34 Schedule-II mines, including one in Odisha.

He said that 10 captive mines auctioned by the government have already started mining and others are in process.

“I am glad to report that around 10 mines have already started mining and others are in the process.”

“This will further augment the availability of coal in the country. Coal India has achieved record production this year. There is a surplus availability of coal at power plants this year with inventories of 25 days as against 5-7 days last year,” said the coal secretary.

He said the government wants to ensure that the captive mines also start moving.

Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd’s production would be increased to 250 million tonnes while we have set a target to produce one billion tonnes by Coal India by 2020, he added.

The review meeting was held to resolve the bottlenecks arising during the development of the coal blocks across the country. The meeting also discussed steps to enhance coal production and strengthen logistics and infrastructure.

“We would attempt to remove those bottlenecks so that at least the Schedule-II mines can begin production before March 31,” said Swarup.

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