“These mines will help all Coal India subsidiaries to achieve 100 million tonne per year-plus production and add 225 million tonne to the company’s annual production capacity by 2022,” coal and railway minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
Eleven of these mines are among the 204 blocks the allotments of which were axed by the Supreme Court. The court verdict came in the wake of the federal auditor saying the exchequer lost Rs 1.8 lakh crore because of awarding mines to commercial entities without bidding, first reported by TOI on March 22, 2012. The other five mines are new blocks carved out after exploration.
Goyal said the government was staying the course for Coal India to achieve a billion tonne of annual production, in spite of the 175-GW renewable energy capacity target 175 by 2022. “Coal will remain our mainstay. As the renewable capacity grows, we will need higher base load round-the-clock for grid stability,” he said.
Eastern Coalfields Ltd will get three of these mines and four each to Bharat Coking Coal Ltd and Western Coalfields Ltd.
Goyal said the panel headed by former chief vigilance commissioner Pratysuh Sinha to review coal blocks auction mechanism is likely to submit its report in 6-8 months.
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