New Delhi: State-run coal PSUs are set to invest Rs 44,000 crore on the development of coal evacuation infrastructure, said the Ministry of Coal on Thursday. "The investment of Rs 44,000 crore by the coal companies for coal evacuation infrastructure is likely to go into the development of coal handling plants, ports and strengthening of the transportation chain as we want to minimise the road transportation and use upgraded conveyor belts for transportation," said the ministry. Coal PSUs have formulated a strategy to develop an integrated approach for eliminating road transportation of coal in the mines, said the ministry.
The government aims to facilitate 'Ease of living with Ease of doing business' with First Mile Connectivity projects "that aim to ease the life of people residing in coal mine areas by reducing traffic congestion, road accidents, adverse effects on environment and health around coal mines and by enhancing coal handling efficiency through employing alternate transport methods like mechanised conveyor system and computerised loading into railway rakes," said the ministry.
A total of 39 First Mile Connectivity projects, with a total capacity of 449.5 MTY, are being implemented by state-run coal PSUs. Prior to the implementation of FMC projects from July 2019, Coal India Ltd (CIL) had mechanised conveyor system and computerised loading in 19 projects having 151 MTY capacity. After commissioning of these 39 FMC projects, this capacity shall get enhanced to ~600 MTY by 2023-24. This shall impart various benefits, including but not limited to savings in diesel costs, demurrage charges and transportation charges, health benefits etc.
To eliminate substitutable quantities of imported coal in the country, the Centre is focused on increasing domestic coal supplies to consumers, rationalising coal movements, reviewing certain levies, incentivising domestic coal consumption to distant consumers who are attracted to coal imports for economic reasons and thereby maximising domestic coal consumption, which shall lead to achieving the goal of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat.' It is projected that the coal demand will grow from 955.26 MT in 2019-20 to 1.27 BT in 2023-24. To meet this growing demand, a coal production plan has been prepared and CIL has been given the target of producing 1 BT coal by 2023-24.
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