New Delhi: The BJP government at the Centre has planned exploration of 37 coal blocks and 10 lignite blocks, along with drilling of 121 coal blocks and one lignite block in the current fiscal. This would be in addition to the exploration and drilling of coal blocks allocated to state-run Coal India Limited (CIL), Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi told the Parliament on Monday.
Exploration of non-CIL coal blocks
“Exploration of non-Coal India Limited (Non-CIL) coal blocks is carried out under the Central Sector Scheme ‘Exploration of Coal & Lignite’ of the Ministry of Coal. Under this scheme, both regional exploration and detailed drilling of these blocks are conducted. Each year, an exploration programme of regional exploration and detailed drilling in non-CIL blocks in coal and lignite is approved. The regional exploration for the year 2019-20 has been planned for 37 coal blocks and 10 lignite blocks, whereas detailed drilling has been planned for 121 coal blocks and 1 lignite block,” Joshi said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha.
‘Rs 937 crore have been allocated’
The minister also informed the Upper House that funds of Rs 937 crores have been allocated for the exploration and drilling of non-CIL blocks in coal and lignite, out of which Rs 120 crore have to be spent on regional exploration and the remaining Rs 817 crores will be spent for detailed drilling.
India to produce 810 MT coal in FY2019-20
In a reply to the House, the minister also informed that the country will produce 810 Million Tonnes (MT) of coal in the current fiscal. For this, targets for Coal India Limited, Singareni Collieries Co. Ltd and Captive and others have been set as 660 MT, 67 MT and 83 MT, respectively.
In another reply, the minister informed that the focus of the government is on accelerating domestic production of coal through allocation of more coal blocks. He added that the government is working closely with state governments for assistance in land acquisition and coordinated efforts with Railways for movement of coal. He also said that in order to enhance coal production, CIL has taken many steps. This state-run Manharatna company will open 55 greenfield projects, having capacity of 92 million tonne per annum (MTPA) and expand 193 brownfield projects, having capacity of about 310 MTPA in the next five years. He said maximum use of technology and portal-based monitoring of on-going projects are in place to ensure timely completion of projects.