RAIPUR: Union coal minister Prahlad Joshi on his visit to Chhattisgarh on Wednesday said that there was no shortage of coal in the country anymore and the situation was under control as Coal India Limited is catering to the need. The minister proceeded to Korba district to take stock of the situation at South Eastern Coal Fields Limited.
Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel questioned his visit asking, “Why was Union minister in Chhattisgarh when there’s no shortage of coal? Centre should accept there is the dearth of it.”
Before leaving for Korba, union minister Prahlad Joshi accompanied by Cold India senior official told media in Bilaspur that the requirement of coal was being taken care of, by Coal India Limited and everything was under control now.
“There’s no shortage of coal in the country and there will be no problem with its supply. Till date, the ministry has fulfilled the requirement of coal for power production. Amid the requirement of 1.5 million tonnes of coal, we have produced two million tonnes as of today and we are increasing the coal dispatch to power plants,” Joshi assured that there would be no problem of power supply.
Speaking about his visit to SECL, he said that review meetings for coal and increasing its production were scheduled.
Joshi went to SECL, Korba via road and visited Dipka, Gevra and Kusmunda mines. SECL produces 130 lakh metric tonne coal from its 41 mines that range to twenty percent of the total coal production in the country and are meeting the demands.
Officials said that talks were underway for signing new MoUs with SECL and the mining and production work was earlier affected due to rains and pandemic.
Joshi was greeted by BJP leaders in Bilaspur.
Taking a dig upon Joshi’s visit, chief minister Bhupesh Baghel asked, “When there’s no coal crisis in the country, why were dozens of power plants closed for a while in the state, why is Union minister visiting SECL. Central government should accept the crisis.”
Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee chief Mohan Markam has demanded that the Centre should issue a white paper over the coal crisis issue. Markam said that the Centre’s policies lack vision and despite India being a huge coal mine, the nation is facing a crisis, people must know the reason behind the dearth.
“Modi government should enlighten citizens about the huge coal crisis that led to a reduction of 30-50 percent of power production. It’s also because Centre has sold off the mines to a few favourite private companies that resulted in monopoly and in order to bring them more profit, such a crisis has been created,” Markam said.