Coal India Ltd. (CIL) is under restructuring process, and plans to improve production by enhancing mining development operator (MDO) mode in consultation with the Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry, Coal Secretary S. K. Srivastava said here on Monday.

Addressing a conference on ‘Re-energising Indian coal sector: interventions through policy, competition and technology,’ organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Mr. Srivastava said close monitoring of the evacuation system through the Railways had been undertaken.

He said CIL was co-ordinating with the Ministry of Environment and Forests and state governments to resolve the issue of clearances. He said 14 coal blocks had been awarded to Central and state utilities, totalling 159 million tonnes to fuel 30,000-35,000 MW of power. “As the Railways, road and other means of transport are under pressure, the use of inland waterways is increasingly been seen as a cost effective and efficient mode of transport of coal to industrial users,’’ he added. A FICCI- Metis Energy Consulting knowledge paper was released on the occasion. Mr. Srivastava said the auction of coal blocks to private companies would definitely take place in the current fiscal. “There are a lot of issues which have to be resolved, and definitely we would like to do it (auction of coal blocks) in this financial year,’’ he later told reporters.

On the number of coal blocks to be put up for the auction, he said it was being worked. The government, which was initially planning to auction six mines in the first tranche, was targeting to auction 10 blocks now.

The Cabinet had earlier approved the methodology for auctioning coal blocks, providing for upfront and production-linked payments and benchmarking of coal sale prices.