New Delhi: Pitching for a cleaner environment in coal transportation, state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) has placed increased impetus on rail evacuation and is aiming to gradually migrate away from road transportation of the dry fuel. Reduced road transportation of coal would depress the dust pollution and save on diesel costs. Ending November of the ongoing fiscal, CIL's exclusive rail coal movement stood at around 202 Million Tonnes (MT), marking an increase of 16 percent on a year-on-year basis, while the road mode fell by 33 percent. During 2019-20, road movement of coal was down by 11 percent. Rail mode transportation accounted for 56 percent of the total coal off-take of CIL in April-November'20. Rail and merry-go-round combined was close to 76 percent.
In a move to buttress its rail evacuation infrastructure, CIL is constructing 21 additional greenfield and brownfield railway sidings at an estimated investment of Rs 3,370 crore in four of its subsidiaries. These would be commissioned by FY'24. CIL currently has around 152 rail sidings and the tally would go up to 173 by 2024.
"The sidings will add fillip to CIL's First Mile Connectivity efforts, acting as effective coal evacuation outlets. The dovetailing of existing and new rail sidings with rapid loading system silos of FMC projects will help improve loading quantity in future when production expands," said a senior official of the company. CIL is aiming to move about 555 MT of coal per year through mechanised means by FY'24.
With CIL aspiring for 1 Billion Tonne output by FY'24, the company is aiming to transport bulk of the coal through rail mode. In this backdrop, CIL is ramping up its rail evacuation facilities.
South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) accounts for 10 of the proposed 21 sidings followed by Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) with six, Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) three and Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) two.
Apart from investing in new sidings CIL is refurbishing old sidings, strengthening rail connectivity between the sidings and the main rail lines. CIL is also investing in construction of new broad gauge rail lines in greenfield areas either on deposit basis or by formation of rail JVs with Indian Railways and the concerned state governments.
To bolster further capacity enhancement, CIL will be extending the rail links to newer loading points and doubling and tripling the lines in some cases.
Jharsuguda-Sardega rail line in Odisha under MCL is being doubled and construction of a double line flyover at Jharsuguda is on the anvil. In Jharkhand under CCL, Tori-Shivpur new broad-gauge double rail line has been laid and the laying of Tori-Shivpur 3rd rail line is underway. The construction of Shivpur-Kathautia rail link is also being planned through a rail JV of CCL.
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