Kolkata, April 5: Expressing confidence that the projected requirement of 1.5 billion tonnes of coal by 2020 can be met domestically in the country, union Coal Secretary Anil Swarup on Sunday said the ministry has drawn extensive “minewise plans” to step up production for state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL). “CIL will be meeting the one billion tonne of coal produce target by 2020 and we have drawn up extensive plans on the roadmap. For the rest 50 million coal output target, it can be met with the existing mines which are being put up for auction,” Swarup said on the sidelines of an event organised here by the Coal Consumers’ Association of India (CCAI). According to him, the 204 blocks which are in the process of being auctioned to the “highest bidder” in the “best transparent manner possible” have a total peak capacity of 800-900 million tonnes.
“I think if CIL can meet the target and the optimal output comes in from the 204 blocks, we can domestically meet the projected demand with ease,” said Swarup. CIL has been given a target of a minimum coal output of 908 million tonnes by 2020. The top coal official is for discouraging coal imports and holds that the coal demand in India can be met domestically by streamlining processes and bringing in transparency in the system. “We have drawn up minewise plans for CIL right from the mining stage to the distribution stage,” he said. Commenting about the quality of coal, Swarup said CIL, which enjoys practical monopoly on pricing of coal and its gradations, needs to come to an “understanding” with consumers to frame quality guidelines and norms which will be acceptable to both the state-run behemoth and consumers equally. (IANS)