India will stop importing thermal coal from Financial Year 2023-24, announced Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi at a "Chintan Shivir" at Kevadia in Gujarat. The two-day brainstorming session, chaired by Joshi, was organised to find a way forward for the coal sector.
"The Shivir has engaged participants in contemplating and deliberating to think out of the box to overcome various bottlenecks and provide innovative solutions to the Indian coal sector," Joshi said while interacting with the media on the sidelines of the event.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Coal, Joshi said, "Various ways and means were discussed with key stakeholders to achieve 1 billion tonnes (BT) coal production target by Coal India Limited (CIL) by Financial Year 2023-24. The Ministry of Coal will coordinate with Indian Railways and Shipping Ministry and enable CIL, Captive and Commercial Miners evacuate more coal by 2030."
Stressing upon the diversification in the Indian Coal sector, the Minister said that ideas have also been mooted that CIL could think of coming up with the state of the art pithead thermal power plants to transform it into an integrated energy company. "It was also proposed that CIL could generate 5 GW of solar power by FY 2023-24 and could diversify into coal gasification with a target of 50 Million Tonnes by 2030 enabling a sustainable energy mix for the country. All these ideas will be deliberated, studied and examined for their feasibility in detail and based on that, they could be implemented," the press release said.
The Minister further stressed upon the safety of workers in the Coal mining sector and has urged coal companies to achieve zero mortality rate by FY 2023-24. He also announced that the Coal Ministry will introduce a "Coal Minister's Award" soon to recognize and appreciate best practices in coal production, productivity, safety, sustainability etc. by the coal companies.
The Minister further stated that drilling agencies like Central Mine Planning and Design Institute(CMPDI) and Geological Survey of India (GSI) should benchmark their operations to global standards by digitizing their databases. He added that it will enable better utilization in the years to come.
(with ANI inputs) (Image credits: Twitter/@JoshiPralhad)