Millennium Post

S Bhattacharya takes charge of CIL, vows to raise output

Sutirtha Bhattacharya on Monday took charge as Coal India's full-time Chairman and Managing Director, a post which had been lying vacant for over six months, amid the miner facing pressure to ramp up production.

Prior to this, Bhattacharya was the CMD of state-owned Singareni Collieries Company. "Sutirtha Bhattacharya assumed the charge of Chairman-cum -Managing Director of Coal India Ltd with effect from January 5, 2015," CIL said in a filing to Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

PESB had in November recommended Bhattacharya, a 1985 batch IAS officer, for the post of Chairman and Managing Director of Coal India. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet had later cleared his name for the top job at CIL.

Coal India was without a full-time head since S Narsing Rao resigned from the post in May, 2014 to join Telangana government. Additional Secretary Coal A K Dubey was given the additional charge as CMD of CIL from June 26, last year.

Singareni Collieries Company (SCCL) jointly owned by the Telangana government and Government of India. Meeting coal production target will be one of the key challenges before new Coal India CMD. Coal India, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production, is expected to produce one billion tonnes by 2019. CIL missed its output target of 482 million tonnes (MT) in the last fiscal and produced 462 MT of coal. Meanwhile, Coal India is transporting extra coal to the power plants to help them tide over the likely disruption of supplies following the proposed five-day strike by the unions beginning Tuesday. “Coal India (CIL) is suppling extra volumes of coal to the power plants and the Railways is fully cooperating with the coal PSU,” an official said.

The official further said that the CIL is making all efforts to ensure that the power plants do not face coal crunch in view of the strike call given by the trade unions. The strike is likely to result in production loss of up to 1.5 million tonnes (MT) a day and may hit supplies to power plants which are already grappling with fuel shortages.

CIL trade unions have announced a five-day strike to press for their demands including roll-back of the “process of denationalising of coal sector” and stopping “disinvestment and restructuring” of Coal India.

Demonstrating unity, all five major trade unions of the coal PSU - BMS, INTUC, AITUC, CITU and HMS boycotted a meeting called by Coal Minister Piyush Goyal last week.

The strike by Coal India workers in November, last year was deferred after a meeting between Coal Ministry officials and trade union representatives.

One mine dropped from list of blocks put under auction

The government has dropped one coal block from the list of 24 mines, that have been put under the hammer in the first tranche, due to “technical reasons”.

“It has been decided ... to withdraw Namchik Namphuk coal mine from the list of 24 schedule-II coal mines to be auctioned, on technical considerations,” the Coal Ministry said on Monday.
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