"In order to deliver a sustained economic growth rate of 8 percent, the power generation capacity has to increase from the capacity of around 160,000 MW (inclusive of all captive plants) to nearly 800,000 MW by 2031-32," Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told Indian Parliament in a written statement.
The statement in the upper house of Parliament Monday said that under various scenarios, the report of the country's planning panel projected coal requirement to be between 1.58 billion to 2.56 billion tons by 2031-32.
"The planning for additional generation capacities in line with the growing demand of power is a continuous process. A capacity addition of 78,577 MW has been proposed during the current 11th five-year plan. Out of this proposed capacity, as on Aug. 31, 2007, 2,265 MW has been commissioned and another 51,680 MW is under execution," Shinde said.
He said the total coal requirement of the power sector by 2011-12 has been estimated at 550 MT and the bulk of this was expected to be met through domestic sources.
"The steps taken by the government to increase the production of coal include allocation of 130 coal blocks to different stakeholders. Coal India Ltd. has identified 119 coal projects to be taken up during the current plan period; in addition, CIL, under emergency coal production plan, has identified 16 open cast projects/mines from where production would be enhanced," Shinde said.