Jagran Bureau, New Delhi. Amidst the power crisis in the country, the Coal Ministry has started the auction process of 40 new coal mines on Tuesday. This will be the third phase of the coal block auction. 28 blocks have been successfully auctioned in the first two phases. The Coal Ministry says that a total of 88 coal blocks will be auctioned. Out of this, 48 blocks did not find any buyer. According to the survey of government agencies, these 88 coal blocks may contain 5500 million tonnes of coal. These blocks are located in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The government says that if all the 88 blocks are allocated, it will provide employment to 3.81 lakh people in the country.
The Coal Ministry said that many new rules will be added to the agreement after the allocation. These include rules from mining operations to closure of mines, the use of new technology in extracting coal and returning it when mining is difficult. Coal mines included in protected sites such as sanctuaries or sites with more than 40 percent forest area are not included in this. Like other industrial sectors, the government has taken care of the ease of doing business here. The auction process may also involve companies that have no prior experience in coal mining. Along with this, companies will also have complete exemption for the use of coal extracted from mining.
Speaking on the occasion, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the problem of coal has arisen due to the rapid increase in the demand of electricity in the country in recent months. Electricity demand has increased by 20 percent compared to before the start of the Kovid epidemic. The demand for coal will remain important for the next 35-40 years.