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Know your Ministry - No: 6 - Coal

Coal is the most important and abundant fossil fuel in India. It accounts for 55% of the country's energy need as the country's industrial heritage was built upon indigenous coal. Reports suggest that the Commercial primary energy consumption has grown in our country by about 700% in the last four decades. Dependence on Coal is going to regularly increase to large proportions due to the rising population, expanding economy and a quest for improved quality of life. Considering the limited reserve potentiality of petroleum & natural gas, eco-conservation restriction on hydel project and geo-political perception of nuclear power, coal will continue to occupy centre-stage of country’s energy scenario.

Ministry of Coal is headed by a cabinet rank Minister and is responsible for development and exploitation of coal and lignite reserves in India.  It has the following principal objectives:

  • augment production through Government companies as well as captive mining route by adopting state-of-the-art and clean coal technologies with a view to improve productivity, safety, quality and ecology.
  • Augment the resource base by enhancing exploration efforts with thrust on increasing proved resources.
  • Facilitate development of necessary infrastructure for prompt evacuation of coal.

AGENCIES UNDER MINISTRY

Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries, Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited, Singareni Collieries Company Limted (SCCL), Coal Mines Provident Fund Organisation, Coal Controller Organisation and Commissioner of Payments function under the aegis of the Coal Ministry.

INFORMATION IN PUBLIC DOMAIN

Table:

Brief Activities of Ministry of Coal for the year 2018-19

COAL STATISTICS

Budget Reports – Demand for Grants : 2020-21

Coal Mining Block

Statistical Reports for July 2020

Production & Supplies

Monthly Summary for Cabinet upto July 2020

Safety in coal mines

Efficiency Parameters – Latest as upto Sept 2014

Coal Reserves

Reports for Other Ministries

Coal Grades.

Online Coal Projects Monitoring Portal

Acts & Policies, Rules, Administrative Circulars and Notifications.

CHALLENGES FOR COAL MINISTRY

  1. Lack of explicit Policy and scope for Institutional reforms.
  2. Persisting Social Issues and Governance deficits.
  3. Governance issues with regard to efficient environmental management.
  4. Issues related Environmental hazards associated with exploration and mining of Coal..
  5. Monopolistic industry structure resulting in the lack of level playing fields.
  6. Impact of COVID19 on the Mining Sector.
  7. Increase in the cost of Coal transportation.

WAY FORWARD

  1. Strengthening capacity of existing Regulatory agencies and Local institutions to ensure timely and regular co-ordination between the Centre, State and District level agencies;
  2. Enhance transparency and knowledge to promote greater responsiveness and accountability across all levels of government;
  3. Formulate uniform and  mandatory Rules and Guidelines on the powers, functions and responsibilities of all allied Coal Mining institutions;
  4. Relief and Rehabilitation measures under Health and Safety of coal mining workers and villages displaced on account of Land acquisition;
  5. Conservation of Forests and managing all issues related to Biodiversity, Air Pollution, Land Degradation and stress on water resources;
  6. Usage of Innovative methods by employing Conveyor type belts or pipe conveyors or overhead ropeways for short distance transport to ensure timely and cost effective supply to power generation units  by reducing the cost of transportation fuel consumption and hazards of pollution.
  7. Optimization of Coal Mining potential to maximize supply to power generation industries across the country.

 

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