Coal secretary meets Jh’khand officials to scale up coal production

Officials asked to facilitate land acquisition and forest clearances to operationalise various mines for commercial production and help achieve 1 billion tonne coal production target by end of 2025

Coal secretary visits Jharkhand

Ranchi: Coal secretary Amrit Lal Meena on Wednesday met Jharkhand chief secretary Sukhdeo Singh and sought the state government’s cooperation in facilitating necessary clearance of various coal blocks on urgent basis so that commercial production could start at the earlier.

Meena was accompanied by additional coal secretary M Nagaraju, chairman of Coal India Limited (CIL) Pramod Agrawal and chairman and managing director (CMD) of Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) PM Prasad during his meeting with the Jharkhand chief secretary and other senior officers of the state government.

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Later, Meena also called on Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren at the Project office secretariat and discussed with him about coal projects located in the state, new coal blocks and other issues affecting production of coal.

Officials said that Meena, who had visited Jharkhand last month and inquired about mines’ operations of various coal companies including the Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) in Dhanbad, urged Jharkhand chief secretary Sukhdev Singh to facilitate early forest and other clearance to different coal mines in the state.

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The coal ministry has stepped up measures to ramp up coal production from coal mines located in Jharkhand and other states in view of likely spike in coal’s demand for energy requirements. The ministry intends to boost coal production up to 1 billion tonne by 2024-25. Senior officials of the state’s mines department and deputy commissioners attended the meeting and assured their commitment to operational the coal mines in their respective territorial jurisdictions.

Many private firms, which entered the coal mining sector in the state, are facing difficulties in acquisition of land and various stages of forest clearance to the allotted coal mines. “The deputy commissioners have been told to review the coal mines issues on monthly basis and address the issues. We (the Jharkhand CS and the coal secretary) will meet again after four months to take stock of the situation,” said Meena.

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Officials of the coal ministry said that they are striving to bring all five new mines coal mines in Dumka, allotted to private companies, in commercial operation soon. “So far, commercial production from two coal mines has begun by West Bengal and Punjab based companies. The third mines is also likely to become operational soon,” said a senior officer.

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