Commencement of commercial coal mining will start new era of growth & development in Chhattisgarh, said Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi. Interacting with media during his visit to Chhattisgarh, Joshi said that it will create around 60,000 additional employment for the people of the State. He added that under commercial coal mining the state will fetch minimum Rs. 4,400 crores revenue in one year and additional minimum premium of Rs. 2000 crores. Additionally, commercial coal mining will contribute around Rs. 25 crores to the various District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds of the State which can be used for inclusive development of regions surrounding coalfield areas.
Union Minister said that Coal Ministry has accepted the suggestion of Chhattisgarh government to change 5 mines with other 3 new mines put under commercial coal auctions in the state. He added that presently 9 mines have been put for commercial auction in the state.
Joshi held meeting with Chhhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in Raipur. He said that the meeting was very positive, progressive and open minded and issues related to coal & other minerals in the state were discussed. Union Minister added that Chief Minister had given good suggestions on DMF and NMET which will be considered positively.
During the meeting with CM, it was decided to get a proposal by a committee comprising of CIL, Chhattisgarh government and MAHAGENCO officials in 15 days for shifting of a railway line of Chhattisgarh East Railway Limited (CERL). A proposal in a month will also be submitted by CMPDI and officials of Chhattisgarh government for using mined out lands for dumping fly ash. The state will form a nodal agency to ensure supply of coal to the retail consumers of coal. Discussions were made to contain petty crimes related to coal in the state.
Union Minister reviewed the performance of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL). He acknowledged the hard work done by Coal Warriors during Covid crisis. He interacted with representatives of sponge iron & steel industry.
Stressing upon the importance of coal mining for Chhattisgarh he said that the State has the largest coal mine in Asia and it plays crucial role in fulfilling the power demands of country. Coal mining also helps Chhattisgarh in fulfilling its aspirations for growth & development. In the last 4 years, more than Rs. 13,200 crores have been paid to the State as part of statutory levies by SECL. Moreover, with enhanced coal production, SECL will pay around Rs. 22,900 crores as revenue to the State’s exchequer in the next 4 years. SECL’s holding company, Coal India Limited (CIL) has planned Rs. 26,000 crores capex for developing infrastructures across Chhattisgarh in the next 4 years.
Highlighting the efforts of government in building new infrastructure for rapid & smooth coal evacuation, Joshi said that Chhattisgarh East Railway Limited (CERL), a joint venture of SECL, IRCON & CSIDC is developing a rail corridor. CERL has incurred more than Rs 2,000 crores capex till date.
The CERL rail corridor is meant for meeting the logistic challenges foreseen on account of coal evacuation to meet the growing coal needs of the country and providing the region with passenger train connectivity. This corridor has a total length of 193 kilometre and is being developed in two phases. The Phase I is from Kharsia to Dharamjayagarh with a route length of 131 kilometres while the Phase II with route length of 62 kilometres will further join Dharamjayagarh with Korba with a spur upto Gare-Plama Block of Coal Mines. In the Phase I, 43 kilometres long section from Kharsia to Korichapar has already been commissioned for goods traffic.