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Plea to ease coal traffic

Materials necessary for mining include explosives, spares, tyres, machine parts and other services
Coal India headquarters in Calcutta

A Staff Reporter   |   Calcutta   |   Published 27.03.20, 08:59 PM

Coal India has sought relaxation from state governments in the movement of essential materials necessary to mine coal amid the countrywide lockdown.

Materials necessary for mining include explosives, spares, tyres, machine parts and other services. According to the miner, these are being procured on a war footing to keep the pace of production.

The request to the state governments comes on the back of a ministry of home affairs addendum on March 25 clarifying that coal mining and associated operations have been exempt from the nationwide lockdown.

According to Coal India officials, coal is an “essential service” as recognised under Emergency Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) 1981 and services engaged in the coal industry are categorise as “public utility”.

The management has been in contact with both the coal ministry as well as the state administration to synergise efforts to maintain production and despatches.

Coal India has clocked a production of 3 million tonnes (mt) on Thursday and has been averaging 2.56mt per day in the current month with supplies averaging at 1.75mt. The miner has produced 517.78mt and supplied 528.27mt in the first 11 months of 2019-20. But the miner has a stiff target of producing 660mt in the ongoing fiscal.

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Coal being the important primary fuel for the country there will be no let up in coal production' said an official of the company, adding 'we are mobilizing all our resources and will keep on resolving the issues and continue to produce, notwithstanding the adversities'.

The official said that there is sufficient buffer with over 107 MTs of coal stock available in the system, at CIL's pitheads and at thermal power stations of the country combined and there is no immediate cause of any coal shortage worry.

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