India will stop importing thermal coal from financial year 2023-24, coal and mines minister Pralhad Joshi said on Tuesday. The minister said that ideas to transform Coal India into an integrated energy company by allowing it to set up pit-head thermal power station have also been mooted at a brain storming session in Gujarat.
“It was also proposed that Coal India could generate 5 GW of solar power by 2023-24 and could diversify into coal gasification with a target of 50 Million Tonnes 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 shall be implemented,” an official statement said.
Joshi said various ways and means were discussed with key stakeholders to achieve One billion tonne coal production target by Coal India by 2023-24. The ministry will coordinate with Indian Railways and the shipping ministry and enable Coal India, captive and commercial miners evacuate more coal by 2030, he said.
Joshi chaired “Chintan Shivir” - a two day brainstorming session to find a way forward for the coal sector - organised at Kevadia, Gujarat.
“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” he said speaking to the media at the sidelines of the Shivir.
The minister also stressed upon the safety of workers in the coal mining sector and has stressed on coal companies to achieve zero mortality rate by 2023-24.
He also announced that the coal ministry will introduce a Coal Minister's Award soon to appreciate best practices in coal production, productivity, safety, sustainability by the coal companies.
The minister also stated that drilling agencies like CMPDI and GSI should benchmark their operations to global standards by digitalising their databases. This, he added, will enable better utilisation in years to come.
The two-day Shivir evolved strategies for sustainable mining, environmental conservation, use of clean coal technologies and extend a helping hand to all stakeholders in and around coal mining areas coexist in a mutually sustainable manner.
Referred from economic times, dated 18 Feb 2020.