Margherita (Assam): Coal India unit North Eastern Coalfields is in the process of seeking clearances for putting into operation two of its mines in Assam in the current financial year.
The development assumes significance in the wake of efforts being made to avoid the reoccurrence of power outages faced by the country at the beginning of the summer season this year due to the shortage of coal supplies.
According to a senior official, once production starts from Tirap OCP (open cast project) of North Eastern Coalfields in Assam, the mine will add 0.6 million tonnes (MT) of coal supplies.
He further said that the company is also in the process of getting clearances for Tikak OCP in the state which will produce 0.2 MT of coal.
“Once both the mines begin production, the company will produce around one million tonnes of more coal,” the official said.
A major share of the coal produced from both blocks will go for power generation.
Coal mining at North Eastern Coalfields resumed in March after Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi inaugurated the operations at Tikak Colliery in Assam’s Tinsukia district.
Mining operations at North Eastern Coalfields were halted due to environment-related issues in 2020.
The resumption of mining operations at Tikak Colliery is a very important step towards the development of the region, Joshi had said.
North Eastern Coalfields presently operates in Tikak Colliery with two opencast projects with a combined coal production capacity of 0.4 million tonnes per annum. The coal mines in Assam and its neighbouring areas are controlled directly by CIL under the unit North Eastern Coalfields.
Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output.
The Maharatna firm has been given the specific aim of one billion tonnes of production by 2023-24 and 60 new blocks have been allotted to it to achieve the target, Joshi had earlier said.
The minister had said that even if CIL produces one billion tonnes in 2023-24 there would be a shortfall in domestic coal supplies to meet the demand.
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