Coal to replace fire-woods in brickfields, industrial unit

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 26th Feb: Out of the total estimated requirement of 4200 metric tonne of coal every year for the smooth operation of brickfields and other industrial units in Manipur, the first few consignments have already been deposited at the Waiton complex of Eastern Construction Pvt Ltd., said consumer affairs, food and public distribution (CAF & PD) minister Karam Shyam.

Speaking to newspersons on Monday during inspection of a coal storage site at Waiton, the minister informed that procurement of coal from three companies will be executed under the New Coal Distribution Policy of the state government.

While pointing out that the policy for replacing firewood with coal in the manufacture of bricks and other industrial units will help check deforestation to some extent, he conveyed that the government has instructed enforcement agencies concerned to check unauthorised transportation of coal loads into the state.

Further stating that brickfields and industrial units have been advised to strictly abide by the new policy and take up necessary measures for smooth transition to the alternative source of energy, Shyam said that as the state nodal agency CAF &PD will oversee procurement of 3.95 lakh tonne coal from ECL, West Bengal; 85,000 tonne from BCCL, Jharkhand; and 2.20 lakh tonne from NEC, Margherita (Assam) within the current financial year.

Out of 2.20 lakh tonne agreed for purchase from the Assam firm, transportation of 10,000 metric tonne is scheduled for completion in March, he said, while conveying that the coal storage facility would be relocated to a suitable site as and when the government completes the land acquisition formalities.

As per an agreement signed by the units concerned, failure to consume the annual estimated quantity will entail fixation of penalty against the defaulting units in the form of delivery compensation to the affected party, he explained, while adding that the quality of coal to be used in the state are of Grade-I and II, respectively priced at Rs 5.40 per kg and Rs 4.60 per kg.

The minister cautioned all concerned that stringent punitive action would be initiated in case the authorised firms/brickfields are found misusing/diverting their respective consignment.

It is said that till date, the CAF & PD department has facilitated delivery/deposit of about 300 metric tonne of coal to few brickfields like the Waiton firm, KBS Industry, Langjing Achouba and KBS Company, Langjing Macha.

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