No coal shortage to occur this monsoon: Pralhad Joshi
India will not face any shortage of coal in the upcoming monsoon season this year, said the union coal minister Pralhad Joshi.
Addressing the reporters here on the sidelines of a conference on underground coal mining, the minister said that 35 million tonne coal is at thermal power plants, 65 MT is lying at pit heads of Coal India and private miners and another 10-12 MT is at various stages of transit.
On the movement of coal through rail route, Joshi said the ministry is working in close coordination of the railways for movement of the dry fuel from pit heads to locations.
“I assure the country on behalf of Coal India and the coal ministry that there will not be any shortage of coal even in the monsoon this time,” he said.
The statement gains significance as during the monsoons, coal availability gets impacted due to rains. This year amid rising temperatures, power demand is expected to touch new highs. Last month, the peak power demand touched a record 221 GW.
Coal India and its subsidiaries have ramped up production of the mineral this year after the country faced a shortage last year during the peak power demand period of April-May.
Earlier, the minister also unveiled Coal India’s ‘UG Vision Plan’, which is a roadmap for achieving 100 MT production from CIL’s underground mines by FY 2028.
This Vision Plan encapsulates our commitment to sustainable growth, technological advancement, safety, and environmental responsibility.
He called upon the coal sector to devise suitable action plans to meet the growing energy requirements of the country in coming years. Noting that 87 coal blocks have been successfully auctioned under commercial auction and some of them have already started production, Joshi stated that deliberation on new strategies to enhance coal production form underground mines is a step in the right direction.
Secretary, union ministry of coal, Amrit Lal Meena stressed on the importance of attracting more private sector firms into coal mining. He said that compared to pre-covid period coal import has come down considerably.
Addressing the programmem M. Nagaraju, additional secretary, ministry of coal said that during 2035-40, India’s coal requirement can go up to 2 billion tonne. Introduction of new technology, attracting private sector, ensuring sustainability etc. are important factors while focusing on underground mining, he said.