NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR - Flooding at a key Coal India Ltd <COAL.NS> mine in Chhattisgarh will stop production there for at least 30 days, a senior Coal India Ltd official told Reuters on Wednesday.
Large parts of the Dipka mine, which has an annual production capacity of over 30 million tonnes and supplies utilities including NTPC Ltd's <NTPC.NS> plant in Korba, are submerged after embankments of a nearby river broke due to heavy rainfall, the official said.
A video shot by a volunteer of Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, a rights group, showed black water gushing down a slope and into the open cast mine where some mining equipment was seen submerged. Reuters could not independently authenticate the video.
"This is a huge loss for us, and is a big setback to our production goals," the Coal India official said. He declined to be named as he is not authorized to speak to the media.
The flooding comes as Coal India said on Tuesday its output for the six months to end-September was down 6%, with September production falling 23.5%.
The state producer has targeted 660 million tonnes of coal output for the year to end-March 2020, up 8.7% from the 606.9 million tonnes it produced in 2018/19.
Coal accounts for about 75 pct of India's power generation, and India wants to arrest rising imports. However, the government has failed to open the industry to competition, despite passing a liberalization policy 19 months ago.