The government is planning to soon shut some of the mines of the state-owned Coal India that are relatively unsafe and produce small quantity of coal. The plan follows the announcement of a safety audit of all the 418 mines in the country in the aftermath of one of the worst disasters in Jharkhand that claimed at least 18 lives. “We have done the safety audit of all the coal mines, particularly the underground mines. So, we will soon be taking a view on some of the unsafe mines where we think it may be better not to produce… which are of a very small quantity,” Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal told PTI here. The minister is on a trip to Austria and the United Kingdom for the Energy Dialogue. “We will be looking at closure of some of these unsafe mines,” the minister said.
He refused to put a number to the mines for such closure, only stating that the coal ministry is still awaiting the safety audit reports. “We will have a report from the DGMS. We will also have a report from an independent committee,” he said. Most of the unsafe mines in question are of Coal India (CIL), Goyal said. “Putting all of them together, we will come up with those mines which are not safe to operate and should not be allowed to continue,” he added.