Bhubaneswar: Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, on Thursday reviewed mining and despatch operations at Mahandi Coalfields Limited (MCL), with an aim further enhance fuel supplies to thermal power plants.
The Union Minister, who was also accompanied by Minister of State for Rail, Coal and Mines Raosaheb Patil Dhanve, during a three-day visit in Odisha, said “Coal India limited has successfully stepped fuel supply to meet the increased power demand and arrest shortage of fuel at thermal power plants which has happened due to increased cost of imported coal.”
“Coal production and dispatch have now increased and we are supplying about 2.2 million tonne coal in a day to the power plants, which is itself a record,” Joshi informed the media persons on the sidelines of his visit to Talcher coalfields, which has the largest coal reserves in the country.
The Minister, while appreciating MCL’s performance in coal production and despatch, said, “We are trying to further improve coal production and despatch from the company.”
During his visit to Talcher coalfields, Joshi inspected mining operations at Balram open cast project in Hingula Area and coal dispatch operations through railway sidings.
Accompanied by the MoS Rail, Coal and Mines, Joshi held discussions with MCL and Railway officials at the railway sidings. The Ministers emphasised on further reducing turn-around time of railway wagons.
The Ministers also interacted with the coal miners and motivated them for increasing coal production and despatch. Best performing workers were also felicitated by the Union ministers.
Chairman Coal India Limited Pramod Agrawal, MCL’s Chairman-cum-Managing Director PK Sinha and Director (Technical/Operations) OP Singh accompanied the Minister, who also visited Paradip Port Trust (PPT).
During the discussions, while reviewing coal handling operations at the PPT, the Coal Minister advised officials to fully utilise port facilities to increase coal transportation through sea route.
Earlier, Joshi and Dhanve were greeted on their arrival at Hingula Area by Director (Finance) KR Vasudevan, Director (Personnel) Keshav Rao, Director (Technical/Projects & Planning) and Chief Vigilance Office PK Patel.
MCL, the leading coal supplying company in the country, contributes about 25 per cent to the total coal production of Coal India.
To further enhance coal dispatch capacity and rapid movement of dry fuel to consumers, the company is aggressively implementing FMC (First Mile Connectivity) projects with capital outlay of Rs 3,600 crore by 2024.
During the current financial year, MCL supplied over 94 million tonnes of dry fuel to consumers, registering a growth of about 21% over last year.