Millennium Post

Coal & rail ministries coordinating ops to boost fuel supplies

The Coal Ministry on Wednesday said it is working in tandem with the Railway Ministry for expeditious laying of three critical rail lines in three states to transport the dry fuel. The state-run miner has been asked to ramp up production and supply of coal as the country is grappling with short supply of dry fuel with as many as 41 thermal power plants facing significant coal shortages.

In an effort to expedite laying out of three critical railway lines for coal transport in Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, both ministries of coal and railways are working in tandem and monitoring the projects frequently, an official statement said.

"The focus of the government is to increase coal production to the maximum extent possible by facilitating environment and forest clearances expeditiously, pursuing with state government for assistance in land acquisition and coordinated efforts with railways for movement of coal," the statement said.

Coal India Ltd (CIL), which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production, has been asked to ensure adequate supply of coal, accordingly it has committed to a target of 1 billion tonnes of coal production by 2019, from the current levels of 500 million tonnes, the statement said.

In addition, CIL has decided to purchase 250 additional rakes worth Rs 5,000 crore to evacuate greater quantities of coal primarily to power plants expeditiously, it said.

The annual target of the coal production for the current fiscal has been increased to 630.25 million tonnes. The ministry further said that in order to resolve the disputes regarding quality of coal supplied to the power plants, CIL has agreed to provide an option to test at third party laboratories with test data being collected at unloading points.
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