Centre to increase coal production to 2 million tonnes per day in a week 

India Coal Crisis: Government is boosting it’s per day coal production from 1.94 million to 2 million tonnes within a week. Know key details.

Why in News?

      • The Central Government is boosting its per day coal production from 1.94 million to 2 million tonnes within a week to meet the rampant demand for coal by states, power companies, and railways. Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on October 13 tweeted that coal shipments to thermal power plants have surpassed 2 million tonnes per day from 1.87 million tonnes per day as of October 11. Use of local coal up to a 10 per cent blend of imported coal has been granted to permit power generators to increase coal stocks.

        As per government sources to ANI, “There is no shortage in the daily supply of coal to states and power companies. About 5 days stock of coal is being maintained and the situation will be back to normal in a month’s time.”

India’s Coal Crisis: States owe Rs 20,000 crores to Coal India: Govt sources

      • Many reasons are being considered for the current coal shortage in the country. As per media reports, the Coal Ministry since January 2021 has been issuing notices to several states to stock coal in their respective states but no action was taken. Coal India can stock up to a limit because stocking more than the limit poses a risk of fire.

        Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Rajasthan did not do much on extracting coal despite having their own mines in the states. Reports state that despite clearances, several states did not do sufficient mining amid the COVID pandemic and rains as reasons.

        Reports also noted that several states are under debt from Coal India. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu are among the big defaulters. As per government sources, states have dues of Rs 20,000 crores to be paid to Coal India Limited.

Monsoons, Rising Coal Prices, Surge in Industrial Power Demand

      • Prolonged Monsoons, a fall in imports, rising coal prices, and a surge in industrial power demand in India are adding to the current shortage of coal.

        Prolonged monsoons have led to lower production and lesser coal-stock accumulation by thermal power plants. The difference between global coal prices and domestic prices has caused a 12 per cent fall in imports of foreign coal which in turn has led to rising high coal prices.

        Adding to that, industrialization and electrification of villages have also fueled the surge in industrial power demand for coal in India. Reports state that Punjab and Delhi recently shut their coal plants in Bhatinda and Ropar.

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