Incessant rains throughout July have not only impacted normal life and kharif cultivation badly in Telangana but the coal production in Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) too has been affected with the mining of the fossil fuel possible for 71.5% of the 4.6 million tonnes target for the month.
Against the average daily average production of about 2 lakh tonnes of coal, the coal company management has initially reduced it to 1.84 lakh tonnes and pruned it further to 1.48 lakh tonnes a day as the intensity of rains was higher than expected/forecast. However, heavy rains for most days of July has allowed the company to achieve an average daily production of 1.06 lakh tonnes.
According to SCCL officials, production of coal in July was 3.29 million tonnes against the target of 4.6 million tonnes fixed keeping in mind heavy rains during the month. The production was down by about 28.5% of the target and it pared further, down by about 32.5%, when compared to the production during July 2021, when 4.87 million tonnes of coal was mined.
Production in all the 19 opencast mines of the company was affected due to rains as rainwater turned the mining areas into ponds forcing the authorities to take up dewatering with the help of pump-sets, whenever there was respite from the rain. It was also impacted in the underground mines as rainwater entered/seeped there too.
“As such about three-fourths of the Singareni’s coal production takes place from the opencast mines but the heavy rains in July have impacted it badly. Against the plans to mine an average of 1.85 lakh tonnes of coal a day from the opencast mines, the maximum possible extent was only 97,000 (0.97 lakh) tonnes during the first three weeks of the month,” a senior executive of the coal company said explaining the impact of rains.
As a result, against the planned production of 3.6 million tonnes from the opencast mines during the first three weeks only 1.9 million tonnes (52.78%) was possible. The official stated that production of coal in COVID-19 hit July 2020 was 2.85 million tonnes and in July 2019 it was 5.15 million tonnes.
The official admitted that the impact of rains on coal production would definitely affect the company’s plans to achieve 74 million tonnes production in 2022-23 as mining of only 20.2 million tonnes was possible in the first four months of this fiscal against 20.44 million tonnes mined during the same period of 2021-22 fiscal.