Coal mining operations at North Eastern Coalfields (NEC), a unit of Coal India Limited (CIL), resumed on Saturday soon after Union Minister Pralhad Joshi along with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma inaugurated the unit at Tikak Colliery of NEC at Margherita in Tinsukia district.
The mining operations at NEC were halted in 2020 owing to certain environental issues.
NEC presently operates in Tikak Colliery in Margherita with two opencast projects (OCPs) namely Tikak OCP and Tikak Extension OCP with a combined coal production capacity of 4 lakh tonne per annum.
NEC will also start producing coal from its Tirap OCP from the upcoming fiscal 22-23 with a target to produce 10 lakh tonnes of coal per annum.
Speaking on the occasion, State Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma thanked Union Minister for Coal and Mines for his pro-active initiatives while resuming mining operations at Tikak Colliery.
The Chief Minister lauded the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that his vision for the growth of the region and his guidance was instrumental in opening mining operations again at North Eastern Coalfields today.
“With the resumption of mining operations at Tikak Colliery, the state government has fulfilled yet another promise made to the people in the state assembly election,” Sarma said.
The state government is committed to maintaining a balance between development and the environment. “While operationalizing Tikak Colliery, we have ensured that mining activities continue in sync with nature,” he said.
“Our government has extended all co-operation to Coal India Ltd. in resolving environmental and all other issues that stalled the functioning of the North Eastern Coalfields,” the Chief Minister said.
Sarma observed that the productive result of this coordinated effort will open up employment generation in this sector once again.
“This step was very important for the socio-economic development of the region, which has received a major boost today,” he said.
The Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said, “Today we have resumed mining operations at Tikak colliery and it is a very important step towards the development of the region. The coal quality of NEC is superior and it is in high demand by several of India’s domestic industries.”
“Increased production in the mines will generate more revenues for the state government, more employment for the people and also support small business activities while catering to the energy demand,” Joshi said.
Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of India’s coal production. The company has produced 606.06 million tonnes of coal in the current fiscal till March 25, 2022.
The company’s coal production is up by 5 per cent, relative to the same period of the last fiscal.
The company’s coal offtake till date is 649.65 million tonnes, up by 15 per cent in comparison to the same period of the last fiscal. This is also the record coal offtake by the company in any financial year. (ANI)