Time for Coal India reality check
Nov 02, 2010
THE TELEGRAPH, Kolkata
Coal India Ltd (CIL) will have to meet its production targets to live up to the euphoria that its initial public offering generated.
According to coal secretary C. Balakrishnan, production by CIL subsidiaries has missed the targets.
“The responsibility is huge to keep the commitment made by you. Investors have reposed faith in you and you have to live up to that,” Balakrishnan said at a meeting to celebrate the foundation day of CIL.
“Opportunities for exploiting coal resources is getting reduced because of our commitment to reduce global warming,” the coal secretary said.
Production by CIL subsidiaries during April-October this year was 221.6 million tonnes (mt).
“This was 20mt short of the target. However, production this financial year till October was 1.5 per cent more than the same period last year,” said CIL director (technical) N.C. Jha.
“The problem was that we started the financial year with a stockpile of 63mt and so far we could get rid of 15mt only. We are still sitting on 48mt stockpile at pit-heads. Had we produced more coal, it would have added to the stockpile.”
Jha admitted that CIL could revise its annual production target of 465.5mt. “If we meet our annual production target, it will add 22mt to the stockpile,” said Jha.
RAILWAY RAKE SHORTAGE
The company could not move coal and reduce its stockpile because of rail rake scarcity. “The railways provided us with 165-166 rakes a day on an average while our requirement was 185 rakes a day,” according to Jha.
Production, particularly from underground mines, fell 5.5 per cent during the first seven months of the current financial year compared with the same period last year. Fire and problems related to blasting had forced the company to close down four underground mines. Besides, excessive rains caused problems in the open cast mines at South Eastern Coalfields Ltd and Western Coalfields Ltd.
Coal demand for this financial year has been estimated at 600mt, with the production shortfall of 83mt to be met through imports.