During the financial year 2020-21, Odisha has produced the second-highest tonnes of coal with over 154 million tonnes in the country. The data has been revealed by the Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi in the Rajya Sabha. As per the official data, Odisha produced 154.150 MT of non-coking coal during the last financial year and was ranked second in non-coking coal production across the nation, whereas, Chhattisgarh topped the chart.

In order to bolster the coal production in the country, a commercial auction of the coal was launched by the Ministry of Coal. Additionally, during the second tranche of the auction, 67 coal mines/blocks were offered with an aggregate peak capacity estimated at 150 MTPA. 

“With the concerted efforts of various stakeholders, the import of coal for blending purposes by the domestic coal-based power plants has reduced by about 56 per cent, from 23.8 MT during 2019-20 to 10.4 MT during 2020-21,” Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi.

For strengthening the domestic coal sector and boosting coal production capacity in India, private players have played a pivotal role through their mining operations especially from the coal-bearing state like Odisha. The opening up of coal mines to private players has also shown tremendous results with increased domestic production. Entities like Vedanta, Hindalco, Adani Talabira and other districts of the state are managing their operations.

For the development of coal blocks owned by the NLC in Talabira, Adani Group’s subsidiary bagged the tender during the reverse auction. Once developed by Adani Talabira II and III coal mines are expected to generate a revenue of 12,200 crores.

Apart from Adani in Talabira, Vedanta also bagged the Kuraloi (A) north coal mine which was recently put for re-bid in the auction for commercial. It has a peak capacity of eight million tonnes per annum and is estimated to generate a revenue of 763 crores.

MCL – a subsidiary of the state-owned CIL has recently announced its plan to invest around 31,000 crores for mining and social infrastructure development in Odisha by 2023-24. It intends to upsurge the coal production capacity to 300 million tonnes and expand the existing projects.

With an aim to reduce the dependency on coal imports, the state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) has envisaged a coal production programme of one Billion-Ton from its mines by the year 2023-24. Public-private players are working together for strengthening the initiative of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Additionally, an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) is also formed by the Ministry of Coal with an aim of coal import substitution. This committee will offer a platform and a larger forum to discuss the administrative ministries to guide them towards encouraging the coal consumers of their respective sectors to eliminate imports of coal. 

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