Coal India temporarily halts supply to non-power customers

Coal India Ltd, the world’s biggest miner, has temporarily stopped supplies to non-power users, a company official said, as India battles one of its worst power supply deficits in years.

“It is a temporary prioritisation of supplies to power plants till stabilisation in stocks is restored,” the source, familiar with Coal India’s plan said.

Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said closure of some mines, and inundation of a few others due to monsoon led to the coal crisis but there is no need to panic as the situation is improving. He said the situation is improving now and the country will continue to receive the required amount of coal.

Visiting the Ashoka mine of the Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) at Piparwar in the Chatra district of Jharkhand, Mr. Joshi said the power plants in the country will continue to receive the required amount of coal. “We are witnessing an improvement now,” he said when asked about the current situation.

The minister held discussions with the officials of CCL and Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) on the prevailing situation. “We can produce two million tonnes of coal per day,” he said, asserting the need for producing more coal. Closure of some coal mines and inundation of a few others due to monsoon led to the hindrance in coal supply to power plants, Mr. Joshi told the reporters. The minister also discussed the issue related to the availability of land for mining at the meeting. A solution will be found with the cooperation of all, including the district administration, he said.

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