State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) expects to surpass its production target of 550 million tonne (MT) in the current fiscal through a faster expansion of its open cast mines and use of new technology to step up underground production.
CIL is also on track to achieving its production target of one billion tonnes of coal by 2019-20, and India will not have to depend upon imports, union minister for coal and power Piyush Goyal said.
Addressing the 41st foundation day of the Maharatna company in Kolkota on Sunday, Goel said Coal India aims to step up underground production by nearly 40 per cent over the next four years from 37 million tonnes in 2014-15.
However, the share of underground mines in percentage terms in the total will not go up from the current 7 per cent as opencast production is set to grow at a faster pace.
"In the last few months, particularly September, coal imports have fallen and I hope in the months to come, the trend will continue. In two years from now, we should be able to become self sufficient and we will not have to import, particularly thermal coal," said Goyal.
"In the first half of the year, coal production growth was nine per cent. The target is to cross 550 million tonnes by March. I have no doubt that we will achieve that target. I am sure that on 31st March (2016) Coal India chairman will send me a message informing that we have surpassed the target," the minister added.
"In the first half of the year, coal production growth was nine percent. The target is to cross 550 million tonne by March. I have no doubt that we will achieve that target. I am sure that on 31st March (2016) Coal India chairman will send me a message informing that we have surpassed the target," said the minister.
The availability of coal is reflected in the fact that there is no shortage of power in any part of the country as CIL has ensured that all power plants in the country had adequate supply of coal, Goyas said.
He exhorted CIL employees to consider themselves more as trustees of the nation's asset, and to make the CIL the world's most valuable company.
"From managers to workers all need to consider themselves as trustees of the nation's asset and should ensure that there is no place for corruption. Whenever there is some wastage or impropriety, they must act as whistle blowers," he said.
The minister also lauded the world's largest coal producer for its corporate social responsibility efforts under which the company and its subsidiaries constructed over 51,000 toilets for schools across the country.