Maharashtra/Madhya Pradesh: Coal India Subsidiary Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) opened 3 new coal mines in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. These mines will have combined annual production capacity of 2.9 million tonnes (MT). The company will infuse total capital expenditure (Capex) of Rs. 849 crores on these projects and generate direct employment for 647 people.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari and Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi inaugurated the mines through video conference.
The company also launched a surveillance System named WCL EYE for monitoring its mining operations and an App named SAMVAAD to connect with its employees and stakeholders.
“WCL has to produce 75 MT of coal by financial year 2023-24. Opening of these mines will certainly add in the efforts of the company reaching this milestone and also help Coal India achieve 1 billion tonnes (BT) coal production target by financial year 2023-24.” Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi said on the occasion.
The three mines which WCL has opened, are a) Adasa Mine, an underground to open cast mine, in Nagpur Area of Maharashtra, b) Sharda underground Mine in Kanhan Area and c) Dhankasa underground mine in Pench Area of Madhya Pradesh.
The annual coal production capacity of Adasa mine is 1.5 MT whereas Sharda and Dhankasa mines are having annual coal production capacities of 0.4 MT and 1 MT respectively.
WCL EYE will monitor operations of 15 major mines of the company round the clock that account for 70% of the company’s coal production. It will also help monitor coal stocks and availability of coal at sidings, keep a tab on placement of rakes and loading at railway sidings and ensure accountability.
SAMVAAD is a Mobile and Desktop App for employees & stakeholders, which will provide a virtual platform for suggestion/feedback/experience sharing. Quick Response Teams will respond to the queries and feedbacks in 7 days mandated period.
Pralhad Joshi also announced that different subsidiaries of Coal India have given Rs. 20 crores to the Government of Madhya Pradesh to strengthen its fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the state. Coal India will also give Rs. 20 crores in a day or two to the Government of Maharashtra for strengthening its cause against COVID-19.
“Opening of these 3 Mines is a part of WCL’s future plan to start 20 new Projects by financial year 2023-24 including 14 in Maharashtra and 6 in Madhya Pradesh. The company will make total capital expenditure of Rs. 12753 crores on these projects and generate direct employment of over 14000” Joshi added.
WCL has launched “Mission 100 Days” a roadmap to achieve targets for the current fiscal. This mission will also help the company accomplish mid and long-term goals. The company’s coal production and offtake target for the current fiscal is 62 MT.
The company has already opened 20 new and expansion projects in the last 6 years with over Rs. 5300 crores of capital expenditure and 5250 direct employment to land losers.
WCL had produced 57.64 MT of Coal in financial year 2019-20, up over 8% in comparison to the last fiscal.