Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal, presided over the inaugural session of the day-long Workshop on ‘Quality of Coal’ here today. The workshop would be holding brainstorming and technical sessions among the stakeholders of the coal and power sectors so as to bring in greater efficiency and self-sufficiency in the two sectors in India.In his inaugural address , Shri Goyal encouraged the distinguished gathering of stakeholders of the coal and power sectors to work in a mission mode to make India self-reliant in Coal reserves, bring in transparency, remove corruption and serve every Indian by ensuring Affordable, Quality, 24x7 Power for All. The Minister said that the “Difference between the Possible and Impossible lies in a Man’s determination and I am delighted to see firm determination in everyone in this gathering to achieve the above mission.”Emphasizing on the importance of high quality coal, Shri Goyal said that the country has achieved an important milestone of adequate quantity of coal, now it is a quest for quality and preventing grade slippages. The Minister informed that there has been a reduction of about 8% in the per unit coal consumption for power generation, which is a significant achievement in India’s coal history.
The Minister said that the Government is fast opening up the coal sector to competition in near future and private miners would be coming into the sector to bring in competition. he also said that we are working towards bring linearity in pricing of coal between lower and higher grades. Shri Goyal also informed the gathering that after sustained dialogue, the Tamil Nadu government has finally communicated to the Centre its willingness for setting up the Cheyyur UMPP based on domestic coal instead of imported coal. This will lead to a step further in achieving self-reliance on domestic coal based thermal power in India and would generate confidence in our own capacities. Appreciating the importance of the current session, the Minister said that there is a need to have inclusive brainstorming sessions like this which involve all stakeholders of the coal and power sector, with the focus on the underprivileged section of the society, for whom electricity is a necessity and not a luxury. Shri Goyal added that every stakeholder should keep a picture of this person in mind and should work hard to provide Affordable, Quality 24x7 Power for All. The Minister also directed officials of the Ministry to develop a whistleblower mechanism to address the complaints of the coal grade slippages and to rein in corruption in the coal and power sectors. Further, he encouraged all the stakeholders present during the session to take their job as a mission to serve every Indian rather than a performance linked incentive based task.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Sutirtha Bhattacharya, Chairman, CIL, said that in October 2014 there were many thermal power plants with critical shortage of coal stocks that were enough to meet only 5-6 days of power demand. Today, thermal power plants in the country are coal surplus and have 100 million tonnes of coal stocks which is enough to meet the minimum inventory requirement of 22 days. CIL is working towards a quest for quantity only with the adherence to strictest quality benchmarks, he added. Secretary, Coal, Shri Susheel Kumar informed the gathering that from 1st April, fresh grades of coal have been issued for each mine and coal dispatch centre. With this step, he said that the grade slippage in coal supplied to consumers will become minimum. In case if the grade slippage exceeds the determined cap, senior officials will be held responsible for it, he added. The ministry is focusing on 4 important areas including safety, quality, environmental protection and diversification into new areas using latest technology. Shri Kumar said that he would be personally tracking progress on these 4 parameters every 15 days and was of opinion that with such preventive measures taken proactively, the country would not need third party sampling after 6 months. Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Shri Suresh Kumar, Additional Secretary Coal, Shri R.K. Verma, Chairman CEA, along with senior officials of the Ministries of Power & Railways, CIL, coal producers & consumers and quality rating agencies.