With CIL just producing 37 million tonnes (MT) of coal from its 237 underground mines, the Coal Ministry has asked the PSU for a detailed subsidiary wise action plan for improving the output from these blocks.
The Ministry has asked for "a detailed subsidiary wise action plan for improvement of production from underground (UG) mines with possibility for introducing latest state-of-the-art technology for techno-economic viability to be prepared and submitted," a source said.
The official also said that the Ministry has also asked Coal India (CIL) for reasons for less production from underground (UG) mines where huge manpower has been deployed, sources said.
The Ministry also asked the Maharatna firm which accounts for over 80% of the domestic coal production for figures of last 10 years for underground and opencast separately pertaining to production and manpower.
Coal India has also been asked to find out "whether opting for UG mining would have any additional benefit in protecting the forest existing above mining areas."
CIL operates 429 mines of which 237 are underground, 166 opencast and 26 mixed mines.
Coal India had missed its output target of 482 MT for 2013-14, producing 462 MT during the period.
Of the 462 MT coal production in FY'14, 37 MT was from underground mines. Production fell short of target because of various reasons, including lack of environment clearance to coal mining projects.
In 2012-13, the company produced 452.5 MT of coal, falling short of the 464 MT target.
Coal India's production target for 2014-15 has been set at 507 MT, while the offtake target is 520 MT.