At a time when mining companies are facing difficulties in land acquisition and getting clearances from the environment ministry, state-owned Central Coalfields (CCL) plans to expand its operations to meet the increasing demand for coal in the country.
CCL, a Miniratna subsidiary of industry leader Coal India, plans to more than double its coal production to 4 million tonnes per annum from the present 1.5 million tonnes through underground mining over the next three years, Central Coalfields Chairman and Managing Director R K Saha said over phone from Ranchi.
The company is slowly increasing its underground mining operations in a phased manner. "It is a challenging job, but CCL is handling it very carefully," Saha said.
It can be noted that strict environmental laws have stalled many coal and power projects, apart from the iron ore mines and steel plants.
A prominent example is the 51,000-crore Posco Steel project in Orissa, which has remained a pipe dream even after seven years, as the company has not been able to acquire land for the project due to stiff opposition from the local population. The project has got a conditional green nod.
There are other similar mega projects proposed by companies ranging from Tata Steel to Vedanta and ArcelorMittal in Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand, which have been hanging fire for want of environmental clearances and land.