New Delhi: Government said that it will take the annual coal output to 600 million tonnes by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-012), from the target of 520 MT.
“We are now targeting to produce 600 million tinnes of coal in four years as against the earlier target of 520 million tonnes,” Coal Secretary H C Gupta said.
Demand from the power and other sectors is growing at a rapid pace and the government has already allocated coal blocks to public as well as private companies in the power, steel and the cement sector.
“Coal production has to increase in the same way as growth in power sector,” Gupta said.
The government has allocated 190 coal blocks with an estimated reserve of 40 billion tonnes.
“Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI), subsidiary of Coal India Ltd (CIL), has been asked to double its mapping and exploration capacity,” he said.
“CIL would also increase its coal washing capacity and would add large number of washeries in five years,” he said adding that except for the pit-head coal, the rest of the coal would be washed.
Government would also encourage underground mining. “Underground mining is another thrust area for us, we plan to increase it from the present 50 million tonnes to 75 million tonnes and the expression of interest (EOIs) have been invited for the same,” he added.