Rail lines to carry coal may take time, make alternate plan: Goyal asks CIL
‘Minister of Power and Coal expressed that the three critical railway lines required to be constructed in different coalfields have been taken up with Minister of Railways who assured to extend support, but it is likely to take considerable time,’ said an official source.
The official further added that ‘he (the minister) directed (CIL) to submit an alternate action plan for meeting the demand for coal projected on year-on-year basis’.
CIL and the CMDs of its subsidiaries recently shared with the minister their concern about some of the virgin coalfields being unable to operate in the absence of adequate evacuation system either through road or rail.
The government had said last month that it will expedite the construction of three critical rail lines to facilitate faster transportation of coal to power plants, thereby helping in bringing nearly 100 million tonnes of incremental traffic to Railways. Railways will speed up construction of critical coal connectivity lines in Tori-Shivpur-Kathautia Area (in North Karanpura, Jharkhand), Jharsuguda-Barpalli-Sardega (in IB Valley, Odisha) and Bhupdeopur-Raigarh-Mand Area (in Chhattisgarh),’ Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda had said while presenting Railway Budget 2014-15.
This will bring nearly 100 million tonnes (MT) of incremental traffic to Railways and will also facilitate faster transportation of coal to power houses,’ he had said. The three rail corridor projects, entailing about Rs 7,500 crore expenditure, are under different phases of development.
As per original plans, rail project for North Karanpura coalfield, work on which had started in 1999, was scheduled for completion in 2005.
Likewise, the IB Valley project in Odisha, which too started long back, should have been completed in 2009. CIL has already provided over Rs 300 crore to Railways for the projects.
CIL accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal output. It missed output target of 482 MT for 2013-14, producing 462 MT.