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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Union Coal secretary Anil Swarup on Friday said coal production from 34 schedule-II coal mines of the country would begin by March 31.

Swarup was talking to media persons after attending a high-level review meeting of mining officials of seven coal producing states here at the secretariat. Notably Odisha has one schedule II mines which is yet to start production.

“The review today was to see these mines start mining as quickly as possible. I am glad to report that around 10 mines have already started mining and others are in the process of starting mining. This will further augment the availability of coal in the country,” he said,

The official informed that Coal India had achieved a higher production target this financial year and will continue to raise output in the coming days.

“You might be knowing that Coal India has achieved a record production figure with a rise of more than 9.7 per cent over the previous year. The surplus coal is available all over the place. The power plants start with coal as against the inventory between five and seven days last year. This year, the inventory is about 25 days. The coal position is comfortable.”

Speaking about Mahanadi Coalfield’s output, the Coal secretary said the Centre wants it to touch 250 million tonnes by 2020.

“Besides these productions, we want to ensure that the captive mines also start moving. And the review today was to see if there are any problems or bottlenecks. We would attempt to remove these bottlenecks so that at least the scheduled II mines where production was happening earlier should start mining before 31 March,” Swarup stated adding there was a need to strengthen coordination between the States and the Centre in the field of coal production and transportation.

Asked to comment on Odisha government's request for according priority to state public sector undertakings while allocating coal mines, Swarup said, "No special consideration for anybody."

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