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HomeEconomy41 new coal blocks to be auctioned 'very shortly'

41 new coal blocks to be auctioned ‘very shortly’

A committee, comprising coal and power secretaries, and Member of Railway Board review coal transportation and supply on a regular basis.

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New Delhi: The government plans to auction more than 41 new coal blocks “very shortly”, Union minister Pralhad Joshi said on Wednesday. He told the that a number of important steps have been taken to augment and monitor coal dispatches to power plants.

In 2018-19, all commodities loading by the Indian Railways was 1,223.29 million tonnes, out of which coal loading was 605.82 MT, which is almost 50%, the Coal and Mines minister said. A committee, comprising coal and power secretaries, and Member (Traffic) of Railway Board reviews coal transportation and supply on a regular basis.

Responding to supplementary queries during Question Hour, Joshi said, “We are going to auction more than 41 new coal blocks very shortly.” He also said that coal production, as well as demands, are increasing in the country.

A satellite-based monitoring system has been successful in curbing illegal mining activities in the country, Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi said. He also said that almost all mining leases of major minerals in the country have been mapped on the Mining Surveillance System (MSS).

“The MSS has been successful in curbing illegal mining activities in the country. The MSS is a satellite-based monitoring system which aims to detect illegal mining activity through automatic remote-sensing detection technology,” the minister said during the Question Hour.

The minister said the system records any landform disturbances up to 500 metres beyond the lease boundary and generates a trigger, which is investigated by the State government and necessary action is taken by them. Almost all mining leases of major minerals in the country have been mapped on MSS, he said.

Joshi said in the initial phase (Phase-I), based on satellite imageries, the data has been analysed and a total 296 triggers for mining leases of major minerals have been generated across the country in the year 2016-17.

“Out of the 296 triggers, respective State governments have verified 287 triggers. Out of these 287 triggers, in 47 cases, unauthorised mining has been detected or confirmed,” he said.

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