Union Minister of Coal & Mines, Pralhad Joshi has said that “There is no shortage of coal in the country. The all India coal production in the year 2021-2022 was 778.19 MT in comparison to 716.08 MT in the year 2020-2021. Further, in the current financial year up to January, 2023, the country has produced about 698.24 MT of coal as compared to about 602.49 MT during the same period of last year with a growth of about 16%.” He has given a written reply in Paliament on 8 February.
Ministry of Coal has requested the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to allow coal mines with existing Environmental Clearances to increase their production up to 40%, to hike by up to 50% without Fresh Environmental Impact Assessment or Public Consultation. Considering the above request, MoEF&CC has issued an OM dated 11.04.2022 on “Guidelines for Granting Environmental Clearance under para 7 (ii) (a) of EIA Notification, 2006, for expansion upto 50% within the existing premises / Mine lease area, without additional land acquisition” and another OM dated 07.05.2022 on “Special dispensation for consideration of Environmental Clearance for 50% expansion in Coal mining projects, within the existing premises/Mine lease area, without additional land acquisition”.
Supply of coal to the power plants is a continuous process. To address the issues of coal supplies to Power Sector, an Inter-Ministerial Sub Group comprising of representatives from Ministry of Power, Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Railways, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Coal India Limited (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) meet regularly to take various operational decisions to enhance supply of coal to thermal power plants as well as for meeting any contingent situations relating to Power Sector including to alleviate critical coal stock position in power plants.
In addition to this, an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) has been constituted comprising of Chairman, Railway Board; Secretary, Ministry of Coal; Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Secretary, Ministry of Power; to monitor augmentation of coal supply and power generation capacity. Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Chairperson, CEA are co-opted as Special Invitees as and when required by the IMC. Coal dispatch from the captive coal blocks is also being monitored regularly.
Coal India Limited, the largest supplier of coal in the country, has dispatched 572.25 MT of coal in the current fiscal (April – January, 2023) achieving a growth of 5.5 % over last year same period. Similarly, Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) has dispatched 54.1 MT of coal in the in the current fiscal (April – January, 2023).