The government has expedited environment and forest clearances as well as land acquisition processes to improve coal production in the country, Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday.
“The government had taken steps to improve coal production which include efforts to expedite environment & forest clearances,” he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
The Centre is also working with state governments to expedite land acquisition as well as coordinating with the railways to improve the movement of coal, he added.
There are adequate coal resources to meet the demand, Goyal said.
Steps have been taken by Coal India Ltd and its subsidiaries to augment production which includes capacity addition from new projects and use of mass production technologies and stringent monitoring of development of coal blocks.
As per official data, the total estimated quantum of coal resources in the country is 301.56 billion tonnes.
The total coal extracted from different coalfields of India since 1950 up to 2013-14 is around 12.53 billion tonnes and the coal extracted during 2013-14 is 565.64 million tonnes.
Goyal said that the government has constituted a new “Inter-Ministerial Task Force” to undertake a comprehensive review of existing coal sources and consider feasibility for rationalisation of linkages.
It will review the existing sources and consider feasibility for rationalisation of linkages from these sources with a view to reduce the transportation cost for power utilities, cement, steel and sponge iron sector.
The minister said that Coal India and its subsidiaries are taking corrective measures for improving quality of coal.
He said, third party sampling and analysis facilities at loading ends are provided to the power utilities for assessment of quality of coal at loading end jointly and thereby proper quality fuel to power companies is ensured.