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Web Exclusive | February 2013

Govt may form task force to draft policy on underground mining

Public sector miner like Coal India (CIL) and other companies have urged government to draft a policy for the development of underground coal mines in the country.

Following this, the union coal ministry has reportedly proposed to set up a task force to map out a strategy for raising output from underground mines.

It may be noted that a mere 9.60 per cent of the coal production from Coal India (CIL) and Singareni Collieries comes from underground mines. The remaining nearly 90 per cent of the output of the two firms is from open cast mines.

The share of underground mines in the total coal production declined steadily from 18.51 per cent in 2002-03 to 13.39 per cent in 2006-07, 10.30 per cent in 2010-11 and to 9.60 percent last fiscal. In the last 10 years, production from underground mines registered a negative growth in eight years.

The proposed policy is part of the efforts by the government to address India’s coal shortage issue. The task force would study various aspects of underground coal mining, including cost of production, capital requirement, safety and technology.

The government may appoint senior officials and technical experts from the coal ministry and the industry in the task force.

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