Coal problems are now history and the target is to further boost domestic production to cut down on the imports that will result in savings to the tune of Rs. 40,000 crore this year, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said today.
“Coal problems are history in India. Last year, the reduction in imports of coal saved Rs. 24,000 crore and this year the target is Rs. 40,000 crore,” he told reporters in Bengaluru.
The minister was in the city for reviewing issues related to power, coal, renewable energy and mines sectors with Karnataka government.
From 2-3 days stock of coal available to power plants to 51 days stock, it was a reflection of the hard work and commitment of all mine employees, Mr Goyal said.
He also said the country should look at doubling its mineral output in the next 3 to 4 years and become a net exporter of minerals.
Mr Goyal said he had requested the Karnataka government to come up with plans for rapid expansion of output of mines and creation of jobs in the state.
On Karnataka government signing central power scheme UDAY, even though it has accepted only the operational efficiencies and not its financial aspects, he said that the union government was willing to help the state in every possible way.
“The Central government has been requesting Karnataka government to sort out right of way issues so that transmission lines can be laid out smoothly,” he added.
In the last 2 years, the capacity of the Southern grid has been increased by 71 per cent, he said.
Mr Goyal said there were four ongoing power projects linking various states to bring surplus power from the central grid to Karnataka but these had been stalled for last several years due to demand of high compensation.
Karnataka government has now agreed to provide all assistance to complete these projects, Mr Goyal said, adding, once operational these would help the state in getting additional power.
The Centre has also approved a Renewable Energy Management Centre for Bengaluru to support large scale grid integration, Mr Goyal added.