Govt considers enhancing borehole density for coal
To meet the sharply rising coal demand, the government is actively considering enhancement of borehole density for coal exploration from the existing 1.5 per Sq. km. to 15-20 boreholes sq. per km without the need for seeking forestry clearance, said Sriprakash Jaiswal, Minister of Coal while addressing the Coal Summit in New Delhi.
Expressing concern over increasing demand and supply gap in energy sector, the Minister said coal production is hovering around 530 million tones and country is importing about 67 million tones of Coal. “To meet the existing shortfall there is urgent need to increase the production by bringing more coal bearing area under mining,” he said.
Jaiswal added that there are long standing issues which need to be addressed to augment domestic coal production and to facilitate large scale imports to supplement the efforts of domestic producers to make available required quantities of coal. He said that the major constraints associated in Accelerated Development of Coal Blocks are land acquisition and related R&R issues, forestry and environmental clearances, inadequate evacuation infrastructure in major coalfields and law and order problems, particularly in some States.
Highlighting the efforts being made by the government to expand coal production base, the Minister said that besides expanding the production capacities of national coal companies through new projects, the government has allocated 208 coal blocks, out of these 26 coal blocks have commenced the production. The contribution from these blocks is expected around 104 million tones in next five years. Still there are constraints coming in the way to increase production from captive blocks includes delays in obtaining forestry clearance, land acquisition, rehabilitation etc.
The Minister said that it is the endeavour of the government to create enabling environment for achieving the goals of increased coal production and widening energy resources. The industry on its part is also required to establish international benchmark in every area of operation including coal production and consumption, he added.