New Delhi: Intensifying its effort to provide a regular supply of coal in the country, the Central government has written letters to the Chief Secretaries of all the coal producing states to curb illegal mining.

According to Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, it is impossible to curb illegal mining without the help of the state governments. Therefore, the states have been directed to take stringent actions against the defiant people under MMDR Act, 1957.

It should be noted that a Group of Ministers’ meeting is scheduled to take place on August 24 to discuss large scale illegal coal mining in the country, the delay in Environment Ministry’s permission to new coal blocks and the problem related to land acquisition along with other issues.

In an earlier meeting in this month, discussions were held over the recommendations of the BK Chaturvedi committee.

According to the sources, the gap between demand and supply of coal in the country is expected to rise over 13.7 crore tons in 2011-2012. The lack of coal supply is affecting electricity production in NTPC and several other power units.

(JPN/Bureau)