Inclusive Growth through Innovation, Mechanization and Automation

CCL has introduced Kaya Kalp model to achieve inclusive growth. This model is essentially based on three values: Philanthropy, Ethics and Transparency, says Gopal Singh. In conversation with Kartik Sharma and Souvik Goswami

Please give us an overview of the operations of Central Coalfields Limited (CCL).
For development of any society, state and country or the basic ingredient for any industry or any sector of the GDP, electricity is the basic ingredient which must be available at an affordable cost. Our basic thrust is providing electricity at an affordable cost. Fortunately, we have sufficient reserve of coal in our country. It is necessary as more than 54% of electricity is based on coal. We have other sources for generation of electricity like gas, oil but what the reserve we have today may last for another 25-30 years. Even uranium reserve is less. Specially after Japan debacle, even countries like France planning to switch over to some other modes. Solar energy is very costly—costs around Rs 10 per unit. Whereas coal based electricity costs around Rs 2 to 3 per unit.

This is the cheapest source of electricity. Secondly we have sufficient reserve of coals to last for more than 100 years to meet the entire electricity demand of the country. We are quite fortunate. We have the world’s largest miner Coal India Ltd. Single largest coal producing company of the world. We have the technology. We have everything. In spite of that we are not able to produce the desired quantity of coal. As a result there is a huge gap between demand and supply. For example, last year there was a gap of 168 million tones of coal to meet demand and supply. Now, if we calculate 168 million tones of coal in terms of forex, it amount to 21 billion dollars. That is huge and it disturbs country’s Current Account Deficit(CAD) and balance of payments. We have to keep in mind that petroleum, gold and coal actually effects CAD of the country as whole. Now we don’t have that much petroleum or gold reserves. And there we have an edge with coal resource.

But if we have so much of reserve, we have technology, we have the world’s largest miner in our country, then why should we not meet the demand of the country. It is really disturbing. CCL’s priority is to maximize the production to the extent possible. Fortunately, coal India has eight subsidiaries, including CMPDI. But it is basically a planning and design organization and other are seven coal producing subsidieries. Out of these seven co-producing subsidiaries, , three subsidiaries— South Eastern Coal Fields Limited in Chhattisgarh, Mahanadi in Odisha and CCL in Jharkhand are important and these three coal companies had equal potential to produce in terms of reserve. If you consider quality then CCL has A grade material also. So CCL is not inferior to those two companies. But those two companies have already crossed the mark of 100 million tone per year production while this company’s production has been stagnating around 48 million tones for last so many years. I joined this company in 2012. I spent my initial 21 years in the company, so I know the strengths and weakness of the company. I ask myself, why cannot CCL produce at least at par with those two companies if not more?

“The company has started getting land for its some of the mines but coal evacuation is the biggest problem. Unless Tori-Shivpur railway line comes up, the company cannot grow really. This line is to be constructed by Railway, the entire funding will be done by coal company through CCDA. Once this railway project gets completed, the company can become a 100 million ton company in phases.”

So, what are the main challenges the organization is facing, and what are the steps being taken to overcome these challenges?
The challenge before us is that either we live with problems that we have and surrender before them that by saying we cannot do anything. According to me for every problem there is a solution. Keeping in mind all these, we have introduced Kaya Kalp model. This model is essentially based on three values: Philanthropy, Ethics and Transparency. In a state like Jharkhand, this model is working well. We have ultimate objective to achieve inclusive growth so that sustainable development can be achieved as unless stakeholders are being taken care of, we cannot achieve that goal. Land acquisition was our biggest challenge. In Jharkhand, CIL is the only company getting physical position of the land quit easily. I myself had rounds of meetings on day-to-day basis with effected villagers. They come and meet me.

I try and share their happiness and problems. And now they are ready to give us land. Being a government company CCL cannot deviate from the rule. We have to give the employment and compensation as per the rule. For that we require authentication of land, in whose name that particular piece of land is there. The land owner has to produce some documents certified by the state government. The faster the land authentication is done, the faster villagers will get benefitted in terms of employment and compensation. We are the only company, may be in India, which is providing employment for every two acres of land.

One employment of CCL means Rs.25-30 thousand a month. So villagers are now willing to give their land to CCL so that companies can be opened they can be taken care of. Land authentication is done by the state government. The faster the rate of land authentication, the more will be the employment .This will help us in getting new land and open new project. This will eventually help us in meeting the gap between demand and supply of the coal production for the country as a whole. I must mention that this year we have been able to open 4 green field projects. Villagers have co-operated with us, have given their lands and mining has already started.

It becomes important for your organization to maintain its credibility among the masses through CSR activities. Please elaborate on CCL’s CSR activities in the state of Jharkhand.
Kayakalp model is based on three values. It relies heavily on automation, mechanization and innovation. It is only technology which can be impartial in true sense of the term and only the technology can eradicate all this evils. Technology is essential part of this Kaya Kalp model. Through innovation, mechanization and automation, you can achieve inclusive growth.

For ensuring transparency, there are various schemes. One of them is Samadhan Kendra. The mechanism is that anybody having any complaint with any part of affairs you can lodge a complaint on a toll free number or you can go and lodge your complaints and within a definite time frame, reply is given. If it is yes then your work is done and if it is no, then the concerned department has to specify in writing by providing proper reason on why that demand cannot be fulfilled.

Please share your vision for the state of Jharkhand.
Jharkhand has a huge potential more than any of the states in the country. The local people of the state are so hard working. This state has everything, like excellent human resource, they have maximum mineral resources. Only thing that is required is co-ordination and cooperation among all sections of the people. In this scenario, I want to CCl to climb heights after heights. But the only constraint that we have is in the area of evacuation of coal. We already have taken initiative. We want Tori- Shivpur railway line to come up and if it is not done, then the company cannot grow really. This line is to be constructed by Railway; the entire funding will be done by Coal Company through CCDA. Once this railway project gets completed, the company can become a 100 million ton company in phases.