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Demand of coal to touch 769 million tonnes by 2013-14

KOLKATA: According to a revised estimate demand for coal during 2013-14 will touch 769 million tonnes.

"However, the main factors that constrain production of Coal relate to difficulties in acquisition of land, obtaining environment and forest related clearances, difficult geo mining conditions in some areas. Difficulties in resettlement and rehabilitation as also intermittent law and order problems are also experienced in some mining areas. Another important constraint pertains to coal evacuation capacity particularly through rail movement. Seasonal factors such as excessive rain and heat wave conditions also constrain production," said PratikPrakash Bapu Patil, the minister of state for coal.

Given the constraints, the country is expected to produce about 614.55 million tonnes of coal during the year leaving a gap of 155.14 million tonnes.

In fact, a number of Coal India's projects, which the company was planning to start production through the contract method are stuck due to land acquisition issues, and unavailability of infrastructure.

The company was looking at producing some 18 million tonnes through the contractor route from seven projects in the first phase. But almost all of these projects are stuck.

Nevertheless, CIL has initiated the process of empanelling importers for importing coal. The company will import only when it has received confirmed demand from power companies.