Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday wrote to the Central government urging it to direct the South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) to ensure uninterrupted supply of coal to steel manufacturers in the state.
In a letter to Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi, the CM said at present 60 lakh tonnes of coal were being supplied to steel manufacturers of Chhattisgarh by SECL every month, while the monthly requirement is about 1.5 crore tonnes.
"Over 15 crore tonnes of coal are extracted annually in Chhattisgarh, which ranks second in the country in terms of its production. But a large quantity of produced coal is supplied to other states. Chhattisgarh is also one of the leading states in the field of steel production. Apart from many large steel-manufacturing units, there are hundreds of small units as well and lakhs of people depend on these facilities for their livelihood," Baghel said.
He said, for the last 6 months, the country was facing a coal crisis and the coal produced in Chhattisgarh was being supplied to other parts of the country on a priority basis.
"Due to the ongoing crisis, SECL has decided to stop the supply of coal to the steel producers and other units (except power plants) of the state from August. The move may badly hit the state's economy as there will be a situation of shutdown in all other units except power plants due to unavailability of coal," he said.
Baghel requested the Union minister to direct SECL to continue uninterrupted supply of coal as per the requirements of steel manufacturers of the state.
The reserves of SECL, a subsidiary of Coal India, are spread over Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The company operates 43 mines in Korba, Koriya, Raigarh and Surajpur of Chhattisgarh, officials said.
-With PTI Input