Bhubaneswar, Oct 15 (PTI) Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) has the potential to achieve its target of 162.5 million tonne coal for this fiscal, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said Monday while stressing on long-term mining planning to raise output and ensure supply to power plants.

The minister visited Odisha's coal belt to inspect mining operations in both the Ib Valley and Talcher coalfields of MCL.

Goyal first inspected Samleshwari Open Cast Project in Ib Valley Coalfields where officers briefed him on coal mining and supply operations, MCL said in a release.

Emphasising the need for preparing long-term project planning, the minister favoured mines-wise detailed plan to be prepared for at least 20 years of operations to overcome bottlenecks and ensure adequate supplies to consumers.

"We need to conduct mine-wise review regarding their coal dispatch capability," he said while stressing on ensuring adequate coal supply to power plants.

Taking note of mines low performance following delay in shifting of a siding, the minister directed both MCL and railways officials to take up this project on fast track basis so that production from mines is not hampered.

The minister, after his visit to Bhubneswari OCP and Ananta OCP under Jagannath Area in Talcher Coalfields, was hopeful of MCL achieving its ambitious coal production target of 162.5 million tonnes during this fiscal.

"I can see you have a potential to achieve, rather exceed, your target of 100 million tonne coal from Talcher coalfields alone," Goyal said.

The minister, who was warmly welcomed by villagers and their representatives, including local MLA, assured them that increase in coal production from mines would directly benefit the district and also help the state to execute more developmental projects.

The minister was accompanied by Inderjit Singh, Coal secretary, A K Jha, chairman of Coal India, R R Mishra, CMD of MCL and other senior officers.

MCL, which had produced over 143 million tonne coal during 2017-18, plans to produce a record 100 million tonne from Talcher coalfields in Angul district and 62.5 million tonne from Ib Valley Coalfields in Jharsuguda and Sundergarh districts, a company official said.

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