By Niraj Chinchkhede :
The company said that non-availability of explosives was the main reason behind the drop in the production
The coal miner needs a special class of detonating explosives to extract coal
However, for the past few months, there was a shortage of these explosives in the market
The city based public sector enterprise - Western Coalfields Limited (WCL), which had surpassed its coal production target of 2019-20 by a comfortable margin, is all set to miss the same in the current fiscal. Against the target of 60 million tonnes (MT) for 2020-21, the Miniratna Ratna company is likely to achieve only 50 million tonnes of coal production till March 31. When contacted, Manoj Kumar, Chairman-cum-Managing Director - WCL, said that the final figures will be available in the next three to four days. “But it seems that WCL’s coal production in the current financial year will be less than what was expected,” he said.
The company said that non-availability of explosives was the main reason behind the drop in the production. The coal miner needs a special class of detonating explosives to extract coal. However, for the past few months, there was a shortage of these explosives in the market. Another senior officer in the company, who wished not to be quoted, said that WCL could procure only 70 percent of its total requirement of explosives in 2020-21. “As there was a shortage of explosives, the process of coal extraction got affected. But in the meantime, we focussed on overburden removal in the fiscal which is good for increasing coal production in coming days,” he pointed out.
Overburden removal is removal of top-soil to expose the coal seams making them ready for mining. It is important to note that WCL had surpassed its coal production target of 2019-20 by a comfortable margin and had also registered highest ever production in a single day on March 31, 2020 amidst lockdown due to COVID-19. The company has registered a production of 57.64 million tonnes (MT) against the target of 56 MT set for the year 2019-20. Besides, the company had also registered a growth of 8.4 per cent in the last fiscal. The company operates 55 mines in 10 areas spread over Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Besides, it has also opened up a new mine in Adasa in the district in June 2020.