Kolkata: Ramping up output and improving profitability will be the top-most priorities for state-run Coal India's new Chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya, although he admits that the coal production target of 925 million tonnes by 2019-20 is a huge challenge.
"For any commercial business entity, what matters most is the bottom line. I intend to steer the company with a three-pronged agenda," Bhattacharya said.
"Coal India's major challenge is to meet the rising demand from the power sector. The company is doing its best to see that power utilities in the country do not suffer for want of coal," Bhattacharya told PTI in an interview.
Bhattacharya took charge as CIL chairman yesterday, a day before a five-day strike began in the coal industry.
"There is no single silver-bullet solution to the challenges, except for actively pursuing them at appropriate levels for expeditious action," he said, while adding that he will work with twin priorities of "ramping up coal production and increasing coal supplies to consumers."
"One thing that needs to be understood is that targets are set in tandem with commensurate coal demand of the country. However, it is evident that coal demand in the country is far outstripping the indigenous production.
"So the immediate need is to narrow the gap through increased indigenous production to the extent possible. We have set a target of 925 million tonne coal production by 2019-20, which is a huge challenge," Bhattacharya said.
Stating that the company has identified certain major issues to help enhance production, the CIL chairman said "Seeing the timely completion of three major railway lines is our priority short term strategy leading to unlocking of large coal reserves in the states of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Odisha for extraction."
"Another short term measure is pursuing MDO (Mine Development Operators) process to supplement coal production," he said.
"Coal production was impeded in the recent years due to inordinate delay in green clearances specially forestry, acquiring and possession of land, delay in development of coal evacuation infrastructure in growing the coalfields of CCL, SECL and MCL. Law and order situation in CCL and partly in MCL is also a matter of concern," he said.
"Our strategies for future will include productivity improvement in mines through technology upgradation in opencast mines... and in underground mines with continuous miner technology in large scale, long-wall technology at selected mines, man riding system in major mines and use of tele-monitoring techniques.
"Other system improvements include e-procurement of equipments and spares, e-tender of works and services etc. Ultimately our aim is to meet the targets diligently," Bhattacharya said.
The CIL chairman further said that Coal India would support initiatives like hygienic sanitation in schools and in the underprivileged households, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Clean India' programme.
Moreover, CIL would also review and take necessary measures for welfare of its employees as it was a priority concern of the company and it would work towards improving housing and sanitation facilities for staff members, Bhattacharya added.