Commercial coal mining will create around 60,000 additional employments in Chhattisgarh: Pralhad Joshi

New Delhi: The commencement of commercial coal mining will start a new era of growth and development in Chhattisgarh, said Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi. Interacting with the media during his visit to Chhattisgarh, Joshi said that it will create around 60,000 additional employments for the people of the state. He added that under commercial coal mining, the state will fetch a minimum of Rs 4,400 crore in revenue in one year and an additional minimum premium of Rs 2,000 crore.

Additionally, commercial coal mining will contribute around Rs 25 crore to the various District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds of the state which can be used for inclusive development of regions surrounding coalfield areas.

The Union Minister said that the Coal Ministry has accepted the suggestion of the Chhattisgarh government to change five mines with other three new mines put under commercial coal auctions in the state. He added that presently, nine mines have been put up for commercial auction in the state.

Joshi held meeting with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in Raipur. He said that the meeting was very positive, progressive and open-minded and issues related to coal and other minerals in the state were discussed. He added that the Chief Minister had given good suggestions on DMF and NMET which will be considered positively.

During the meeting with the CM, it was decided to get a proposal by a committee comprising of CIL, the Chhattisgarh government and MAHAGENCO officials in 15 days for shifting of a railway line of Chhattisgarh East Railway Limited (CERL). A proposal in a month will also be submitted by CMPDI and officials of the Chhattisgarh government for using mined-out lands for dumping fly ash. The state will form a nodal agency to ensure the supply of coal to the retail consumers of coal. Discussions were made to contain petty crimes related to coal in the state.

The Union Minister also reviewed the performance of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL). He acknowledged the hard work done by 'coal warriors' during the COVID crisis. He interacted with representatives of the sponge iron and steel industry. 

Stressing upon the importance of coal mining for Chhattisgarh, he said that the state has the largest coal mine in Asia and it plays a crucial role in fulfilling the power demands of the country. Coal mining also helps Chhattisgarh in fulfilling its aspirations for growth and development. In the last four years, more than Rs 13,200 crore have been paid to the state as part of statutory levies by SECL. Moreover, with enhanced coal production, SECL will pay around Rs 22,900 crore as revenue to the state’s exchequer in the next four years. SECL’s holding company, Coal India Limited (CIL) has planned Rs 26,000 crore CAPEX for developing infrastructures across Chhattisgarh in the next four years.

Highlighting the efforts of the government in building new infrastructure for rapid and smooth coal evacuation, Joshi said that Chhattisgarh East Railway Limited (CERL), a joint venture of SECL, IRCON and CSIDC is developing a rail corridor. CERL has incurred more than Rs 2,000 crore CAPEX till date.

The CERL rail corridor is meant for meeting the logistic challenges foreseen on account of coal evacuation to meet the growing coal needs of the country and providing the region with passenger train connectivity. This corridor has a total length of 193 kilometres and is being developed in two phases. The Phase I is from Kharsia to Dharamjayagarh with a route length of 131 kilometre, while the Phase II with a route length of 62 kilometres will further join Dharamjayagarh with Korba with a spur up-to Gare-Plama Block of coal mines. In Phase-I, 43 kilometre-long section from Kharsia to Korichapar has already been commissioned for goods traffic.

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