After an outstanding coal output of 600 million tonne in 2018-19, Coal India is investing on space technology and mobile apps to control pilferage and illegal mining.
The company has introduced the Coal Mining Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) portal. This system was developed by the coal ministry in coordination with Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo-informatics and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology
The system can scan a region of 100 meters around the existing coalfield boundary to identify any unusual activity.
The CMSMS is also designed to provide other important information like reclamation work which is being monitored by CMPDI , a subsidiary of Coal India, using satellite data. The status of environmental and forest clearances are also linked for information in this system.
Coal import by state government-run power producers in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in 2018-18 was 1.4 times higher than in previous year, which was in part due to quality and logistics related issues in Coal India’s import substitution scheme.
NTPC’s import increased to 960,000 tonnes in 2018-19.
Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Ltd, Andhra Pradesh Power Development Company Ltd, Tamil Nadu Generation & Distribution Corporation and West Bengal. Power Development Corporation imported a total of 6.9 million tonnes of coal in 2018-19 against 2.9 million tonnes in 20171-18.
Coal India has promised fuel to power producers under a scheme to meet the shortfall in annual contracted quantity, provided they give an undertaking that coal import has stopped or will not continue
Coal India stocks would be used for power producers opting for the scheme whereas regular production would be used for committed supplies to customers.
However, if the demand from power sector increases substantially, Coal India may not be able to meet every customers’ requirement under this scheme.
India’s 12 major ports have reported 10.81% increase in the Coal shipments during 2018-19, on account of Increased demand from various sectors including coal, containers, fertilisers and POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant) etc.
These ports handled coal cargo shipment of 161.34 million tonne in 2018-19 against 59 million tonne in 2017-18.
The 12 major ports are Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia)..