Bhubaneswar: An unit of state-run Coal India may be unable to meet its production target for this fiscal year, with local people in the eastern Orissa state refusing to move out to allow mining operations, company officials said on Wednesday.
The eight mines, located in Talcher in Angul district in Orissa, belong to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), one of Coal India’s eight subsidiaries.
“Most of our open cast mines in Talcher coal fields are getting closer to the villages. We are not able to shift the villagers because suitable sites have not been made available to us,” MCL spokesman Dikken Mehra told Reuters.
Mehra said MCL’s target of producing 123 million tonnes of coal in 2010-11 may not be met.
In 2009-10, MCL produced 104.08 million tonnes of coal, or about 23% of Coal India’s total production of 460.5 million tonnes.
MCL’s output at Talcher fields has already declined by 30% in April and 9% in May, compared to the year-ago periods, hurt by frequent blockades of roads and strikes by the villagers, Mehra said.
“The government’s land has to be provided for the rehabilitation of villagers and MCL has been pursuing the state government (for that) vigorously,” A.K. Tiwari, director (technical and operation) of MCL, told Reuters.
“The production is day by day diminishing.”
Coal India, also the world’s largest coal producer with mines mostly in central and eastern India, produced 87% of India’s total output of 531 million tonnes in 2009/10.