Centre allocates 39 coal blocks
India is the third largest coal producer in the world. A
cumulative total of 253.30 billion tonnes of coal have so far been estimated in
the country as on January 1, 2007. Around 382.65 million tonnes of coal
production have taken place in 2006-07.
Most of the coal production in India comes from open pit mines contributing over
81 per cent of the total production. A number of large open pit mines of over 10
million tonnes per annum capacity are in operation. Shovels with capacity up to
25 cu. m., dumpers up to 170 tonnes, draglines up to 24/96 capacity and in pit
crushing conveying system are deployed in hard coal open pit mines.
Large capacity bucket wheel excavators are in operation for lignite mining.
Underground mining currently accounts for around 19 per cent of national output.
Most of the production is achieved by conventional bord and pillar mining
methods. Side by side, intermediate technologies using side discharge loaders
and load haul dumpers in bord and pillar method of working have been introduced.
Contemporary technology in the form of Longwall Powered support has also been
introduced in a limited scale.
Coal is considered as a primary source of energy. It accounts for 55 per cent of
the country's energy need. The current per capita commercial primary energy
consumption in India is about 350 kgoe/year which is well below that of
developed countries. Energy usage in India is expected to rise around 450 kgoe/year
in 2010. According to the coal ministry, CPPs of 5 mw and below will not be
considered for granting long term coal linkage till the coal availability
improves and; CPPs of capacity of 10 mw and below will be accorded low priority
while granting long term coal linkage.
It is learnt that the coal ministry has approved allocation of 39 coal blocks
for various public and private sector power companies to meet the growing needs
of the power sector. The coal ministry has allocated 10 coal blocks having
reserves worth 6,075 million tonnes to the Central and state government
companies. Around 12 blocks having reserves of 800 million tonnes have been
allocated to public and private companies under the captive mining dispensation.
Around 17 blocks having reserves of 190 million tonnes have been allocated to
the Central and state PSUs for commercial mining. Till date, 130 coal blocks
have been allocated to various governments as well as private companies.
[25 June 2007]