Guwahati: Coal mining operations at North Eastern Coalfields (NEC), a unit of the world’s largest coal company Coal India Limited (CIL), resumed on Saturday with the Union Minister of Coal, Mines & Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi inaugurating operations at Tikak colliery of NEC.

Chief Minister of Assam Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma was also present during the occasion.

Mining operations at NEC were halted in 2020 due to environment-related issues.

“We are committed to maintaining balance between development and environment. While operationalizing Tikak Colliery, we have ensured that mining activities continue in sync with nature. Assam government has extended all cooperation to CIL in resolving legal, land acquisition and environmental issues,” the chief minister said.

With this inauguration, the CM said, his government has fulfilled a promise made in Assembly Elections.

NEC presently operates in Tikak colliery in Margherita, Assam, with two opencast projects (OCPs), namely Tikak OCP and Tikak Extension OCP with a combined coal production capacity of 04 lakh tonne per annum.

“The resumption of mining operations at Tikak Colliery, will also open up employment opportunities in this sector & hence is a significant step towards socio-economic development of the region,” Sarma said.

NEC will also begin producing coal from Tirap OCP from Fiscal 22-23 with target to produce 10 Lakh Tonne coal per annum, he added.

“Today we have resumed mining operations at Tikak colliery and it is a very important step towards development of the region. The coal quality of NEC is superior and it is in high demand by several of India’s domestic industries,” Joshi said.

“Increased production in the mines will generate more revenues for the Assam government, more employment for the people and also support small business activities, while catering to the energy demand,” Joshi added.

Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of India’s coal production. The company has produced 606.06 million tonnes of coal in the current fiscal till March 25, 2022.

Company’s coal production is up by 5%, relative to the same period of the last fiscal. The company’s coal offtake till date is 649.65 million tonnes, up by 15% in comparison to the same period of the last fiscal. This is also the record coal offtake by the company in any financial year.

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