New Delhi: Sutirtha Bhattacharya on Monday took charge as Coal India Ltd’s full-time chairman and managing director, a post which had been lying vacant for over six months, amid the miner facing pressure to ramp up production.

Prior to this, Bhattacharya was the CMD of state-owned Singareni Collieries Co. Ltd (SCCL). “Sutirtha Bhattacharya assumed the charge of chairman-cum -managing director of Coal India Ltd with effect from 5 January 2015," CIL said in a filing to BSE.

PESB had in November recommended Bhattacharya, a 1985 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, for the post of chairman and managing director of Coal India.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet had later cleared his name for the top job at CIL. Coal India was without a full-time head since S. Narsing Rao resigned from the post in May 2014 to join Telangana government.

Additional secretary (coal) A.K. Dubey was given the additional charge as CMD of CIL from 26 June, last year. SCCL jointly owned by the Telangana government and government of India. Meeting coal production target will be one of the key challenges before new Coal India CMD.

Coal India, which accounts for over 80% of the domestic coal production, is expected to produce one billion tonnes by 2019. CIL missed its output target of 482 million tonnes (MT) in the last fiscal and produced 462 MT of coal.