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Strategy for stepping up coal production in CIL. By – 1. A K Debnath 2. S.K. Dubey. INTRODUCTION. Pursuit of quantity & quality-wise affordable and reliable source of energy is presenting unprecedented economic, social and environmental challenges.

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strategy for stepping up coal production in cil

Strategy for stepping up coal production in CIL

By – 1. A K Debnath

2. S.K. Dubey

  • Pursuit of quantity & quality-wise affordable and reliable source of energy is presenting unprecedented economic, social and environmental challenges.
  • In India, coal provides about 52% of the commercial energy and 67% of the electricity generation is coal based.
  • Massive need for coal availability to a level of over 2 billion tonnes / annum based on domestic quality of coal.
  • Availability of lesser amount of coal indigenously, forcing increasing import of coal with time, is a matter of concern.
  • Burgeoning coal demand-supply gap necessitates Coal India Limited to come up with further initiatives for stepping up coal production.
  • This necessities pro-active strategies for bridging the gap to the extent possible.
projected demand

Projected Coal demand in XI and XII



  • Delivering of requisite clearances within specified time schedule and addressing issues affecting land acquisition, R&R, law & order and infrastructures for coal evacuation, effectively, in a time bound manner have been spelt out as the conditions under the Optimistic scenario for the envisaged production of 795 Mt by 2016-17.
  • Contribution from CIL in this projected production would be 615 Mt.
Customer/Sector-wise break up of assessed coal demand for 2016-17 is indicated

* Based on projection of 17th Electric Power Survey for energy requirement of 1392 BU in 2016-17 and past

trend of 70% of coal based thermal energy requirement in the total thermal energy requirement..

** Commensurate with the optimistic projection of steel production of 105 Mt in 2016-17.

coal availability

Coal Production during the X and XI plan periods -

projected demand availability gap for coal

Coal demand & availability gap over plan periods

Production under the ‘Optimistic scenario’ would result in a demand- indigenous availability gap of about 185 Mt which may rise to a level of about 265 Mt in the Business As Usual scenario.

strategy for stepping up coal production in cil1
  • Production achievement by CIL during X Plan was at a CAGR of 5.6 % which came down to 4.4 % during XI Plan.
  • Enhancement of coal production from a level of about 435 Mt during 2011-12 to a level of 615 Mt under ‘Optimistic Scenario’ by 2016-17 would entail CAGR of 7.2%.
  • Moreover, achievement of 615 Mt by 2016-17 by CIL would not be enough to limit the increasing import of coal in the country and the country would have to resort to growing import to meet the requirement of various consumers in the country.
  • Coal production can not be started without possession of land, solving R&R problems, getting Environmental and Forestry clearances as well as addressing the coal evacuation problems.
  • Additionally, issues like faster exploration requirement including drilling capacity augmentation, enhancing pace of projectisation for existing and new coal blocks (out of 119 nos.), emphasis on coal production from underground mines, etc., are required to be addressed by CIL for stepping up its production.
To restrict the import to the extent possible by augmenting the coal

production level, the strategies would involve the following steps :

  • Enhancement in the pace of exploitation
    • The balance of regionally explored area (out of 14013 sq. km) which is yet to be fully explored is about 6000 sq km.
    • This area is having a density of about 1 borehole per sq km which is required to be raised up to about 15 to 20 boreholes per sq km through detailed drilling for projectisation for mining by opencast or underground methods.
The present capacity of CMPDI including the contractual agencies carrying out drilling under its supervision is 5 lakh meter per year. Out of this, about 3.90 lakh meter of drilling was carried out in 2011-12 in blocks of CIL.
  • The drilling capacity of CMPDI, including outsourced drilling, needs to be enhanced (to over 10 lakh meter) to enable further projectisation of coal reserves.
  • The present capacity of coal core analysis (CMPDI & CIMFR) is 60000 m of core length which needs to be enhanced to about 1.5 lakh m by 2015-16.
  • The estimated meterage present in blocks for bidding, additional blocks allowed to be retained by CIL, de-allocated blocks offered to CIL, XII Plan projects of CIL, CIL Blocks and non-CIL blocks identified on the basis of the available potential blocks, including Non-CIL blocks are:

To sustain the programme of detailed exploration beyond XII Plan at an enhanced rate of drilling of over 10 lakh meter per annum will need the commensurate enhancement in the efforts on Regional/Promotional exploration.

Faster Projectisation of New Blocks
    • Necessity of maximizing production availability from the existing coal blocks of CIL, from where 615 Mt of coal production has been envisaged by 2016-17.
    • Additional blocks including the 119 nos. allowed to be retained by CIL recently, should be developed at the earliest as soon as the exploration in such blocks are over.
    • These 119 blocks ( 45 OC + 57 UG & 17 mixed) have been tentatively estimated for a total capacity of about 240 Mty.
    • Early development of these blocks will provide CIL a comfort in meeting the demand-supply gap.
Development of Project through MDO (Mine Development Operator) Route
    • Considering the delay in land acquisition, law and order and other problems associated with open cast project development, wider engagement of the Development Operators for open cast mines/projects needs to be considered
    • This result in crashing the activities of mine development and early realisation of the production from such mines.
  • Underground Mine Capacity Enhancement

Status of initiatives taken by CIL for mechanisation and production enhancement efforts in the recent past are Indicated below:

    • Continuous Miners (CMs) have been presently deployed 7 mines of CIL with a total capacity of 2.78 Mty as indicated below :

2. At present, two type of the bidding routes, namely “Risk-gain sharing basis” and “Hiring basis” are being followed for deployment of CMs.

3. Excepting Pinuara and Rani Atari in SECL, all other Continuous Miners have been deployed on the basis of “Risk-gain sharing basis”.

4. Also, 19 Underground Projects with Continuous Miner Technology with a total capacity of 11.69 Mty have been approved as listed below :
5. Identified list of mines/ projects where Continuous Miner can be deployed on hiring basis (potential blocks but further study is needed prior to finalisation) are -

6. Work orders have already been issued to MDOs to operate five mines (Jhanjra in ECL,

Kapuria, Moonidih (both XV & XVI seam), and Muraidih in BCCL) by longwall

technology. Likely capacity addition from these mines will be around 8.9 Mty.

Several such mines are in pipe line

7. Identifying suitable prospective sites for application of Highwall Mining which is a mining method to extract coal from an exposed coal seam at the terminating line of an opencast mine.

At present, this technology has been implemented in Sharda Opencast project of SECL.

8. Apart from the successful implementation of the aforesaid actions by CIL, a deeper assessment needs to be made in finalisation of the strategies which may include the following points –

  • Planning of all new mines with higher degree of mechanisation wherever applicable.
  • Preparation and adherence to Time-bound technology plan including introduction of new technology to improve productivity.
  • Preparation of road map with engagement of MDOs.
  • Separate cadre in CIL for Underground mining with attractive avenues to motivate for performance.
  • Preparation of Infrastructure development plan including prioritisation of construction of rail/road/railway siding and faster development of infrastructure for UG mines.
Enhancing Coal Evacuation Capacity Through Infrastructure development
    • Infrastructure development (rail, road & power) in coalfields, particularly in new emerging coalfields, calls for considerable investment.
    • Is essential to augment the evacuation capacity of coal from its existing level.
    • As per the Master Plan of North Karanpura coalfield, construction of railway lines and electric power arrangement will require about Rs. 2500 crore of investment.
    • Similarly, as per the Master Plan of Ib Valley coalfield, establishing rail network for MCL projects will require about Rs. 470 crores.
    • Needs to be a mechanism of joint sharing of the investment requirement in these infrastructures between CIL and the existing and future captive producers.
    • CIL can invest initially and which may be shared at later stage

by other users including captive parties.

Necessity of establishing and expanding the infrastructure facilities in new emerging coalfields due the future production assessment from these coalfields as indicated below:

Various limiting factors, deterrent to increasing production and severely faced by the coal sector, need to be addressed by the Government. Government needs to take certain initiatives in this regard. The issues are :

    • Labour laws
      • Coal mining sector should be allowed to have exemption from provisions u/s 10 of Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act 1970 (Prohibition of employment of contract labour).
    • Land & R&R :
      • Land acquisition is proving to be one of the major hurdles in starting coal mining projects and expansion of the existing ones.
    • It is mainly due to this reason that CIL is unable to plan major enhancement of coal production.
    • Shifting of people from places where land has already been acquired is also one of the hurdles for enhancement of coal production.
    • Actions need to be taken by the Govt. for constitution of Task force in the concerned State Government Secretariat to help the companies in acquisition of land.
  • The following may be suggested to streamline the land and R&R problems –
    • Identification of Project affected families (PAFs) at the time of project conceptualization stage itself for timely action.
    • Identification of R&R site, providing adequate infrastructure and suitable amenities before land acquisition.
Continuous dialogue with PAFs with an objective to identify their actual requirement by involving the village panchayats and State Govt. authorities. Accordingly the actions are to be taken.
  • Ownership verification with family tree jointly by mining companies and state district authorities.
  • Finalization of PAFs and display of the list on the notice board and website.
  • Categorization of PAFs as per their entitlement in terms of the agreed policy.
  • Free shifting of belongings of PAFs for smooth acquisition of land.
  • Maintenance of updated & correct land records by State Land & Revenue Department.
  • Suitable compensation to the affected persons for ensuring reasonable regular income for sustenance and livelihood in terms of National Land Acquisition and R&R Bill, 2011or any other approved policy.
Environment Clearance (EC) & Forest Clearance (FC)
  • The EC process takes about 14 months excluding the time consumed in Public Consultation process. Main reasons for delay in EC as observed are –
    • Obtaining ToR from MOEF for each and every proposal specially when more than 86% conditions are common for OCP & U/G mines. Thereby leading to repeatation of the process.
    • Delayed Public Hearing and issuance of PH proceedings by SPCB. The time limit prescribed for public consultation/hearing, including receipt of proceedings, is although 45 days but the time taken is much more and in some cases, it is even more than 2-3 years.
    • Linking of EC with FC.
Suggested Measures for Expeditious EC PROCESS:
    • Standard ToR for OC and UG mines should be circulated by MoEF.
    • Dispensation of public hearing in case of projects already having EC and fresh EC is required because of increase in production only without involving any increase in land area).
    • Dispensation of public hearing in case of projects having only forest land.
    • Dispensation of public hearing in case of UG projects as there is negligible environment degradation.
    • If SBCB does not complete PH process within stipulated time, MoEF should accept the EIA/EMP for EC. The EC may however be accorded only after the recommendation of SPCB thorough PH proceedings.
Delinking of EC with FC as long as no forest land is used for mining and mining related activities.
    • Coalfield wise EC so that the excess production by any project does not attract the requirement of fresh EC as long as the combined production is within the EC capacity.
  • Suggested Measures for Expeditious FC :
    • Once the FC application is received by the State Forest authority from the project proponent, all the deficiencies in the application should be informed to the applicant at a time preferably within 2-3 days. The process of the scrutiny should be very transparent so as to avoid and identify the delay and also to pin point the responsibility. The deficiencies should be resolved by mutual discussion within 15 days.
    • State should maintain the correct and updated record of the

forest land to avoid resubmission.

State should ensure its recommendations to MoEF in a time bound framework as per Forest (Conservation) Rules.
  • After the stage -1 clearance is accorded, the proponent should be allowed to start the activities and the forest land should be transferred once the required payments towards NPV, compensatory afforestation is made by the coal companies to the concerned State Government.
  • Strengthening of land and R&R Department at all levels of CIL for timely action and follow up with State authorities.
4 conclusion
  • Appetite for energy in the world is growing, particularly in developing countries like India, as it is fast on course to industrialization and urbanization.
  • Onus of fulfilling the coal supply requirement of the country primarily rests on CIL.
  • CIL is likely to remain as a dominant player in Indian coal industry in foreseeable future also.
  • In order to restrict the rising gap between demand and indigenous coal availability to the extent possible, CIL has no option but to raise its production level to a great extent by every means.
  • Coal production can not be started without possession of land, solving R&R problems, getting Environmental and Forestry clearances as well as addressing the coal evacuation problems.
  • Additionally, issues like faster exploration requirement including drilling capacity augmentation, enhancing pace of projectisation for existing and new coal blocks(out of 119 nos.), emphasis on coal production from underground mines, etc., are required to be addressed by CIL