Government Orders Coal India To Start Operations In 110 Additional Blocks Or Return Them
Dockside cranes unload coal from the Genco Shipping and Trading Ltd. ship as tipper trucks transport coal at the Krishnapatnam Co. port in Andhra Pradesh. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Government Orders Coal India To Start Operations In 110 Additional Blocks Or Return Them

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The coal ministry has asked state-owned Coal India Ltd. to either expedite the operationalisation of 110 additional blocks allotted to it or return the mines to the government, an official said.

The coal ministry recently enquired from the state-run miner about the operational status of the additional blocks allotted to it, and whether extraction from these coal blocks is techno-economically feasible, the official said.

The government was told that of the 110 additional Coal India blocks, 50 were explored, 41 were under exploration and balance 19 were partly/regionally explored.

Further, out of 50 explored blocks, project reports of 25 blocks have been prepared, Coal India informed the ministry.

The ministry emphasised on quick operationalisation of all of these blocks, otherwise Coal India may return them to the Ministry of Coal for their allotment auction to other agencies, according to the same official.

Coal India accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal output.

The state-owned firm had earlier said that it will produce 750 million tonnes of coal in the next financial year. It will further produce 1 billion tonnes of coal by FY24, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi had said.

Coal India is targeting to produce 660 million tonnes of the dry fuel in 2019-20 compared to 607 million tonnes in the last fiscal.

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