The Indian Government is set to invest Rs7.6bn ($119m) in the underground coal mines in FY16.
Coal and Power minister Piyush Goyal told PTI: "Funds likely to be invested in underground mines for the year 2015-16 would be to the tune of Rs7.6bn which is 12% of total capex of 2015-16."
Due to tough geographical conditions in addition to the non-availability of large size deposits that make it difficult to adopt mass production technologies, there is limited scope for increasing production from the underground mines, the minister said.
Other reasons standing in the way of increasing coal production include a lack of proper experience in the mechanisation of underground mines.
Goyal went on to say that the major constraints in increasing production of coal from such mines, include inappropriate technologies to mine coal from thick and steeply inclines and multiple seams.
Excess water pumping as well as adverse roof conditions also add to the constraints.
Separately, Goyal said that in the next five years, Coal India plans to boost its output to 908 million tonnes with an investment of Rs625.9bn ($9.8bn) by 2019-20.
The company expects to meet the planned investment using its internal resources.
According to the minister, under Coal India currently there are 227 working underground mines and 28 mixed mines.
Image: There is limited scope for increasing production from the underground coal mines due to tough geo-mining conditions. Photo: courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net