New Delhi, Sep 25 (Calcutta Tube) In a bid to increase coal production, the government will soon allow up to 20 boreholes in a square km area for coal exploration from one borehole in 1.5 square km permitted now, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said Friday.
‘Currently we produce around 530 million tones coal and import 67 million tones. To meet the existing shortfall there is urgent need to increase the production by bringing more coal bearing area under mining,’ Jaiswal said at the 3rd Coal Summit.
He said coal ministry was in consultation with forest and environment ministry to allow more boreholes for coal exploration.
Jaiswal expressed hope that forest ministry would give its green signal to the proposal soon that would allow 15-20 boreholes in per square km area without any forestry clearance.
He said major constraints in augmenting coal production were related to land acquisition, forestry and environmental clearances, inadequate evacuation infrastructure in major coalfields and law and order problems, particularly in some states.
‘To deal with the adverse law and order situation around some of the coal projects, the coal ministry has taken up the matter with the ministry of home affairs for augmentation of the present strength of CISF personnel in the coal companies,’ said Jaiswal.
On the government’s efforts to increase coal production, Jaiswal said the production capacities of public sector companies have been increased through new projects.
The government has allocated 208 coal blocks, out of which 26 have commenced the production. The contribution from these blocks is expected around 104 million tones in next five years, coal minister said.