Steps being taken to resolve coal shortage: Goyal

Steps being taken to resolve coal shortage: Goyal

Steps being taken to resolve coal shortage: Goyal

The government today said urgent steps are being taken to address the "crisis" faced by power plants because of shortage of coal and blamed the previous UPA government for the critical situation.

"We are increasing the (coal) crushing capacity, increasing (the number of) washeries in mining areas. We have also appealed to the Environment Ministry to allow us to mine additional fuel wherever there are possibilities," Power Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters outside Parliament.

The government has also appealed to state governments, especially Odisha and Jharkahand, to help the Centre in the transportation of coal, Goyal said, exuding confidence that through such measures, the position will be much better in the coming one to two years. The Minister's reaction came against the backdrop of media reports that NTPC has sent out an SOS to the government informing that some power plants have coal stock left only for four days.

Goyal said the problem of coal supply had aggraveted since 2009 and the "crisis was the result of five years of policy flip-flop and the uncertainty has to be resolved".

He said the 'go' and 'no go' policy of the Centre in 2009 led to the fall in production capacity of several old mines while new mines could not be opened.

Thereafter, in 2010, a comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI) was introduced which affected seven coal fields and hampered production of an additional 40 million tonnes of coal.

While the government "withdrew" the 'go' 'no go' area in 2012, it replaced it with 'inviolate area' policy because of which the uncertainty in coal mining continued, he said."We have to import large quantity of coal and power plants do not have adequate supply," he added.