The Coal Ministry has accepted the Chhattisgarh government's suggestion to replace five of the nine mines put under commercial coal auction in the state, Union Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi announced on Friday.
In addition, three new mines will be added on the suggestion of the Chhattisgarh government, taking the total number of mines for commercial mining to seven. The overall reserve of the coal of all auctioned mines shall remain almost the same, he said.
The Chhattisgarh government had raised objections over the auction of coal mines in the proposed Lemru Elephant Reserve limits.
Addressing the media after meeting Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Joshi said: “The meeting was very positive, progressive and open minded. We have discussed various issues related to coal mining in the state.
"The Chief Minister has also given some good suggestions on the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) and National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) which we will consider positively.”
Joshi said it was also decided to get a proposal by a committee comprising Coal India Ltd (CIL), the Chhattisgarh government and Maharashtra State Power Generation Co Ltd (MAHAGENCO) officials in 15 days to shift a railway line of Chhattisgarh East Railway Ltd (CERL).
A proposal will also be submitted in a month 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 also made to contain petty crimes related to coal in the state, the Minister said.
Joshi said that commercial coal mining will fetch the state a minimum Rs. 4,400 crores revenue in one year. It will also create around 60,000 additional employment opportunities. It will contribute around Rs. 25 crores to the various DMF funds of the state.
“In the last four 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 exchequer in the next four years," he said.
SECL’s holding company, CIL, has planned Rs. 26,000 crores capex for developing infrastructures across Chhattisgarh in the next four years, the Minister added.