Kolkata, Nov 1 (IANS) Coming down heavily on Coal India’s employees for not meeting the requirement of the country, Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday urged them to take “sincere steps” to reach the per-day target of 2.5 million tonnes of production and dispatch.
“We have huge challenges ahead of us to meet the demand for the vital product, particularly when the economic growth is rapid and the demand for coal is increasing at a fast pace,” he said.
Growth of coal production in 2016-17 and 2017-18 remained at a low level and today the country is facing “the stress” because of that, Goyal said, adding that prior to FY17, it was increasing at a reasonable rate.
“Even, today we are growing by at about 10 per cent and my fear is that the rate of growth is not good enough. Very soon, we may slip to a single-digit growth unless all of us collectively decide that we will not let that happen,” he said at the miner’s 44th Foundation day Celebration.
“I would urge all my colleagues in Coal India and various subsidiaries to seriously look at what steps each one of us can take so that we can reach the 2.5 million tonne production-and-dispatch target per day,” he said.
The centre is hopeful that within the next 3-4 months, every single home will have electricity and like to provide them 24×7 uninterrupted power supply.
“It will not possible unless Coal India lives up to the expectation,” he said.
Goyal said the fuel cannot continue to be imported when the country has a reserve of over 300 billion tonnes of coal.
“Unless and until, the country becomes self-dependant in coal, there is no room for complacency,” he said.
“We have a large amount of coking coal in Ranigunj and Jharia, where we must address the issues of rehabilitation so that this coking coal starts serving our iron and steel industry,” he said.
Referring to Thursday’s cabinet meeting, Goyal said some of his colleagues in the central government made comments about inadequate coal supplies, which caused embarrassment to him.
He appealed to the miner to improve adoption of technologies so that coal companies can do scientific and efficient mining and also to improve working conditions of workmen.
“It is a matter of shame that only contractors’ workers give us productions, not our workmen. It is truly an unacceptable situation,” Goyal said.
He, however, praised workers for improving the quality of the fuel over the last four years.
“Today, we don’t have the kind of quality complaints we used to have 4-5 years ago. Grade slippages have almost become a thing of the past, particularly after the third-party sampling which has given assurance to the consumers of Coal India that even if there was a slippage of coal, they would not have to pay for it,” he added.