Punjab’s power woes will end as the Jharkhand coal mine is reopened after 7 years of inactivity

Punjab's power woes will end as the Jharkhand coal mine is reopened after 7 years of inactivity
Punjab's power woes will end as the Jharkhand coal mine is reopened after 7 years of inactivity

After a wait of over seven years, the coal mine at Pachhwara in Jharkhand has become operational and is expected to save the state over Rs 600 crore per year. Over 15 rakes of coal have already been extracted in this coal block since mining began on Friday.

Mine officials and displaced villagers watched as coal was transported from the mine site to a railway station. An annual production of seven million tonnes of high calorific value coal will be produced on the 1,050 hectare mine site.

In Bathinda and Ropar, PSPCL owns two coal-fired power plants – Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant at Lehra Mohabbat and Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Power Plant at Ropar.

To supply this coal to private generators in the state, PSPCL is waiting for approval from the Centre. According to a top official, the Power Ministry has approved the proposal and the Coal Ministry is awaiting approval.

In last year’s Supreme Court decision, legal hurdles were cleared that prevented the PSPCL from acquiring the mine. As a result, the PSPCL had to deal with the coal mining mafia, causing further difficulties.

According to All India Power Engineers Federation spokesperson VK Gupta, the Pachhwara central coal mine will eventually save around Rs 600 crore annually and reduce tariff by 20 to 30 paise per unit.

It will not only ensure regular supply throughout the year, but will also benefit Jharkhand financially, according to a senior PSPCL official. As soon as the clearances are received, we will divert this coal to private plants, which will lower the tariffs for consumers.