Why are we importing coal despite surplus, asks Goyal
Expressing concern over import of coal despite being surplus in the dry fuel, Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said Coal India has set a target to replace about 15 MT of imported coal with indigenous fuel in next six months.
While addressing a media event, Minister of State for Coal said this is because the power plants have been designed not to function on indigenous coal.
He urged everyone to come up with new ideas for finding a sustainable solution to this challenge.
Talking about power decentralisation initiatives, the Minister said apart from shifting to renewable energy, focus is on distributed energy production, where consumers themselves can start generating power.
“In fact, the rooftop solar power programme will be expanded from 300 MW today to 40,000 MW in the next six years.
It will not only provide energy security but will also give support to thousands of people living in areas inaccessible to grid based power supply,” he said.
On the climate change menace, Goyal reiterated that India believes that fighting climate change is a global responsibility. But having said that, it is imperative that the world strives towards sustainable lifestyle.
Wasteful usage of energy is a big concern today, he said adding that, “we are very concerned to see how the developed world is going to respond to this challenge in terms of demand side management of their consumption.”
Government has allotted seven coal mines to state-government companies, including Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL), for undertaking commercial mining and sale of the dry fuel.
“Allotment agreements have been executed (between Nominated Authority and coal block allottees) with regard to five coal mines, out of eight coal mines earmarked for allotment to state PSU’s of coal-bearing host states for sale of coal,” an official said.
Among the allotted blocks, Baitarni West coal mine in Odisha was given to Odisha Mining Corporation Ltd, Dahegaon/Makardhokra IV mine in Maharashtra was alloted to Maharashtra State Mining Corp Ltd, Maharashtra State Mining Corp Ltd and Gourangdih ABC block in West Bengal was alloted to West Bengal Mineral Development & Trading Corp Ltd, the official said.
Patal East in Jharkhand has been alloted to Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corp Ltd and Penagaddppa mine in Telangana alloted to Singareni Collieries Company Ltd.
“In addition, out of eight coal mines earmarked for allotment to PSU’s of non-host States for sale of coal, allotment agreements have been executed for two coal mines,” the official added.
The two mines are Madanpur South mine in Chhattisgarh to Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp Ltd and Suliyari mine in Madhya Pradesh to Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp Ltd, the official said.
The allotment of coal blocks is part of government’s decision to open up the coal sector for commercial mining. The Centre had earmarked 16 blocks for allotment to state PSUs for carrying out production and sale of the fuel.