Thermal Power Plant, India

Authorities in the East Indian state of Odisha have halted production at six of Coal India‘s mines following the expiry of the requisite environmental clearances.

Operations came to a standstill on 2 September 2012 at the company’s Lajkura open cast mine and the Orient group of mines at Ib-valley Coal fields in the Jharsuguda district.

Odisha director of mines Deepak Mohanty told Reuters that operations will not resume unless the company obtains approval to do so.

Earlier in 2012, Coal India secured a concessionary period after being asked to stop operations.

Mohanty said that with the expiry of the concessionary period, the authorities were left with "little choice" but to bring operations to a halt.

With Coal India projected to generate 470 million tonnes of the total 580 million tonnes of coal required in India, any disruption is likely to create an acute shortage of supply for the Indian thermal power industry, leading to greater dependence on imports.

According to the Indian Coal ministry, supply remains a constraint with an expected shortfall of 192 million tones needed for thermal power generation.

Image: Halted operations at Coal India mines would affect domestic demand at thermal power plants. Photo: Ashish.prajapati90