New Delhi: India will stop importing thermal coal from Financial Year (FY) 2023-24, said Union Minister of Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi while chairing the ‘Chintan Shivir’, a two-day brainstorming session. The session was organized in Kevadia, Gujarat on 17 and 18 February.
“The shivir has engaged the participants in contemplating and deliberating to think out of the box to overcome various bottlenecks and provide innovative solutions to the Indian coal sector,” said Joshi while interacting with the media.
Highlighting key takeaways of the shivir, Joshi said that various ways and means were discussed with key stakeholders to achieve 1 billion tonnes (BT) coal production target by Coal India Ltd (CIL) by FY 2023-24. The Ministry of Coal will coordinate with Indian Railways and the Shipping Ministry and enable CIL, captive and commercial miners produce more coal by 2030.
Joshi said that CIL would think of coming up with a state of the art pithead thermal power plant to transform itself into an integrated energy company. It was also proposed that CIL could generate 5GW of solar power by FY 2023-24 and could diversify into coal gasification with a target of 50MT by 2030 enabling a sustainable energy mix for the country.
All these ideas will be deliberated, studied and examined for their feasibility in detail and based on that, they could be implemented, Joshi added.
The Minister laid emphasis on the safety of workers in the coal mining sector and has urged coal companies to achieve a zero mortality rate by 2023-24. He also announced that the Ministry of Coal will introduce a ‘Coal Minister’s Award’ to recognize and appreciate best practices in coal production, productivity, safety, and sustainability by the coal companies.
The Minister further stated that drilling agencies like Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) and Geological Survey of India (GSI) should benchmark their operations to global standards by digitizing their databases. He added that it will enable better utilization in the years to come.
During the two day shivir, strategies were evolved for sustainable mining, environmental conservation, use of clean coal technologies and for extending helping hand to all stakeholders in and around coal mining areas to coexist in a mutually sustainable manner.
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