The Union Ministry of Coal has drawn up strategic plans to boost coal production to meet the growing demand, with an estimated target of 1.5 billion tonnes by 2029-30. To ensure a smooth flow of coal to end-users, various steps are being taken, including the enhancement of evacuation infrastructure through new rail projects and mechanized coal loading via First Mile Connectivity (FMC) projects.

To ensure timely completion of coal mine development projects, the environmental norms are being complied in the following ways:

  • Before opening new mine/project, prior Environmental Clearance (EC) / Forestry Clearance (FC) / CTE / CTO are secured from various regulatory agencies.
  • All mines secure, NoC from Central Ground Water Authority for extraction of ground water before commencement of mining operation.
  • In compliance of the EC/ CTE/ CTO conditions, regular environmental monitoring with respect to ambient air quality, effluent quality, noise level monitoring and ground water (both levels and quality) are monitored and reports are submitted to MoEF&CC / State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) / Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

To reduce carbon emissions and comply with environmental conditions and consents, various measures are consistently implemented and enhanced, such as air pollution control, water pollution control, noise pollution control, land reclamation, collaboration with expert agencies, third-party evaluation of compliance, and environmental performance indexing.

The government has initiated multiple measures to boost domestic coal production and achieve self-reliance. These initiatives include streamlining processes through Single Window Clearance, amending the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 to allow captive mines to sell a portion of their annual production, adopting mass production technologies, launching new projects, expanding existing ones, and auctioning coal blocks to private companies and public sector undertakings (PSUs) for commercial mining. Furthermore, 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment has been permitted for commercial mining.

Coal India Limited plans to augment its coal production through the expansion of existing mines (brownfield projects), the establishment of new mines (greenfield projects), and the modernization and mechanization of underground (UG) and open-cast (OC) mines.

Coal Production Projection

The above table displaying coal production targets and projections indicates the expected production figures from fiscal year 2023-24 to 2029-30. Coal India, the largest producer, is projected to increase its production gradually from 780 million tonnes in 2023-24 to 1,120 million tonnes by 2029-30. Captive and other sources of coal supply are also expected to double their production targets over the seven-year period, going from 162.1 million tonnes to 320 million tonnes. Singareni Collieries Co. anticipates an increase in annual production from 70 million tonnes to 82 million tonnes by 2029-30.

In summary, total coal production is projected to rise by approximately 50 percent, from 1,012.1 million tonnes in 2023-24 to 1,522.0 million tonnes by 2029-30. Achieving this substantial increase in coal production will necessitate significant investments in mining infrastructure and technology in the upcoming years.

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