The coal ministry has asked state-owned CIL to either expedite the operationalisation of 110 additional blocks allotted to it or return the mines to the government, an official said.
The coal ministry recently enquired from the PSU about the operational status of the additional blocks allotted to it, and whether extraction from these coal blocks is techno-economically feasible, the official added.
The government was told that of the 110 additional CIL blocks, 50 were explored, 41 were under exploration and balance 19 were partly/regionally explored.
Further, out of 50 explored blocks, project reports of 25 blocks have been prepared, the coal ministry was informed.
The ministry “emphasised on quick operationalisation of all of these blocks, otherwise CIL may return them to the Ministry of Coal for their allotment/ auction to other agencies,” the official said.
Coal India Ltd (CIL) accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output.
The state-owned firm had earlier said that it will produce 750 million tonnes of coal in the next financial year.
The PSU will further produce 1 billion tonnes of coal by FY2024, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi had said.
CIL is targeting to produce 660 million tonnes of the dry fuel in 2019-20 compared to 607 million tonnes in the last fiscal.