Coal crisis: Union Minister Pralhad Joshi inspects SECL coalfields in Chhattisgarh

Amid the looming crisis of coal shortage, the Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi visited SECL coalfields on Wednesday to personally inspect the ground zero
Coal crisis: Union Minister Pralhad Joshi inspects SECL coalfields in Chhattisgarh

Bilaspur/ New Delhi: (Vivek ShuklaAmid the increasing concerns and rising opposition voices over coal shortage, the union coal minister Pralhad Joshi visited the headquarter of the South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (one of the subsidiaries of Coal India Limited-CIL) at Bilaspur and its coalfields on Wednesday. The union minister landed at Chakarbhata airport in Bilaspur at around noon. He was accompanied by Coal India Chairman Pramod Agrawal, Additional Secretary Coal VK Tiwari and Joint Secretary BP Pati.

Joshi was received at the airport by Chairman SECL AP Panda and other directors of the CIL subsidiary.

"Coal India has started supplying 2 million tonnes of coal per day. There is a demand of 1.9 million tonnes per day from the power sector. Presently only 1.1 million tonnes of coal is needed per day. Coal will be supplied to the power plants, there is no problem anywhere..," Coal Minister said at his arrival in Bilaspur. Joshi reassured that he is inspecting the coal mines personally to further speed up the production.

Later Joshi left by road for inspection of SECL's mega-project Dipka, Gevra, Kusmunda cola mines as per schedule where he also took review meetings.

SECL has set the target of coal output at 14.73 million tons for October month and till now the production touched 2.95 million tons." SECL has increased the supply of coal to the power sector amid demand for coal by power plants across the country", the company said in an official statement released Wednesday. In the first half of FY'22 that ended in September, SECL supplied about 25 percent more coal to the power sector as compared to the previous year, it added.

The coal supplied by the company through e-auction has also registered an increase of about 30 percent as compared to the last financial year, the statement said.

Meanwhile, most of the thermal power stations in Chhattisgarh had recently lowered their production fearing fewer despatches of coal supply from the mines and the plants in the state have been cited to have been left with 3-6 days of coal stocks.

Commenting on the Union Coal Minister's visit Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel said that though there is no serious power crisis or shortage of coal in the state, the situation is being closely monitored. Baghel has asked SECL to ensure the regular requisite daily coal supply on priority to the thermal plants based in Chhattisgarh.

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