By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI: The Union Government has planned exploration of 37 coal blocks and 10 lignite blocks along with drilling of 121 coal blocks and one lignite block in the current fiscal in addition to exploration and drilling of coal blocks allocated to state-run Coal India Limited (CIL) informed the Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi to the Parliament on Monday.
“Exploration of Non-Coal India Limited (Non-CIL) coal blocks is carried out under the Central Sector Scheme ‘Exploration of Coal & Lignite’ of the Ministry of Coal. Under this scheme, both regional exploration and detailed drilling of these blocks are conducted.
Each year exploration programme of regional exploration & detailed drilling in Non-CIL blocks in coal & lignite is approved. The regional exploration for the year 2019-20 has been planned for 37 coal blocks & 10 lignite blocks, whereas detailed drilling has been planned for 121 coal blocks & 1 lignite block.” Joshi said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha.
The minister also informed to the upper house that fund of Rs. 937 crores have been allocated for exploration and drilling of Non-CIL blocks in coal and lignite out of which Rs. 120 crores have to be spent on regional exploration and remaining 817 crores to be spent for detailed drilling.
In a reply to the House, the minister also informed that the country will produce 810 Million Tonnes (MT) of coal in the current fiscal for which targets for Coal India Limited, Singareni Collieries Co. Ltd and Captive & others have been set as 660 MT, 67 MT and 83 MT respectively.
In another reply, the minister informed that the focus of the Government is on accelerating domestic production of coal through allocation of more coal blocks, pursuing with State Government for assistance in land acquisition and coordinated efforts with Railways for movement of coal.
He also said that in order to enhance coal production, CIL has taken many steps. This state-run Manharatna company will open 55 greenfield projects having capacity of 92 million tonne per annum (MTPA) and expand 193 brownfield projects having capacity of about 310 MTPA in next five years. He said maximum use of technology and portal based monitoring of on-going projects are in place to ensure timely completion of projects.