Coal India is under the process of restructuring to step up the coal production in the country, said SK Srivastava, secretary, Ministry of coal, Government of India, while addressing FICCI’s national conference.

It plans to improve the production by enhancing Mining Development Operator (MDO) mode and consultations are in full swing with the Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance in this regard. Also, close monitoring of the evacuation system through railways has been undertaken, he said.

Coal India is coordinating with the Ministry of Environment and Forests besides state governments to resolve the issue of environment and forests clearances. For improved technology infrastructure and to enhance the overall efficiency of Coal India, (Q,N,C,F)* consultants have already been hired. He also informed that 14 coal blocks have been awarded to Central and State Utilities, totaling 159 million tonnes and fuelling 30,000-35,000 mw.

Srivastava highlighted the critical role of coal transport infrastructure in ensuring supplies to end users. As railways, road and other means of transport are under tremendous pressure, the use of inland waterways is increasingly been seen as a cost effective and efficient mode of transport of coal to industrial users.

He said coal mining can be categorized under four broad categories namely, environment & forest clearances, land acquisition, evacuation and coal mining. Of these, environment & forest clearances and land acquisition pose as the biggest challenges as coal reserves are confined to 7-8 states, which are densely populated.

A FICCI- Metis Energy Consulting knowledge paper was released by the Coal Secretary. Metis Energy Consulting is the knowledge partner for the event.

Ashok Lavasa, additional secretary, ministry of power, Government of India, said that thepower sector has been constantly supported by the coal sector, but in the last decade the import of coal has increased phenomenally. Exploitation of coal for use in power sector is a necessity. However, he added that besides the indigenous coal, the energy producer should also have access to imported fuel as a viable option. Both Case I and Case II bid now allow for fuel pass through, hence there is no possibility of speculation in the area of fuel.

Shekhar Saran, director (Technical), Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMDIL), said it was necessary to open new coal mines and expand old ones to meet the escalating energy demands. But land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement pose as one of the most critical issues.

KK Modi, past president, FICCI and chairman, Modi Enterprises, said that there was no dearth of coal reserves in India. Still we were importing a majority of coal for feeding our industries instead of exporting it. He suggested that we should look at ways to explore these coal mines and adopt new technologies to make India a coal surplus country.

RS Sharma, managing director, Jindal Power and chairman, FICCI power committee, said that the private sector needs the support of the government on issues such as land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement. Import of coal for the power sector should be avoided at all costs and we should ensure that new technologies are adopted to extract coal efficiently, he added.

S Ravishankar, director, Metis Energy Consulting, suggested that the coal sector should focus on fast-tracking policy implementation, competitive auction of coal blocks, technology advancement, market restructuring and adoption of PPP framework.

Courtesy: Myiris