Coal India (CIL), a public sector miner, yesterday (Monday, 28th December 2020) said that it is planning to construct 21 additional greenfield and brownfield railway sidings in four of its subsidiaries at an estimated investment of Rs 3,370 crore by 2024.
CIL at present has around 152 rail sidings and the tally would go up to 173 by then. Of the proposed 21 sidings, South Eastern Coalfields will account for ten followed by Central Coalfields with six, Eastern Coalfields will construct three and Bharat Coking Coal two.
“The sidings will give a fillip to CIL’s First Mile Connectivity (FMC) efforts, acting as effective coal evacuation outlets. The dovetailing of the 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 company official. The PSU aims to move about 555 million tonne of coal per year through mechanised means, supposed to come up by 2024.
Besides investing in new sidings, CIL is refurbishing old sidings and strengthening rail connectivity between the sidings and the main railway lines with investment in the construction of new broad gauge rail lines in greenfield areas either on deposit basis or by the formation of JVs with the Indian Railways and the concerned state governments.
Jharsuguda-Sardega rail line in Odisha under Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd 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 Tori-Shivpur 3rd rail line is underway. Construction of Shivpur-Kathautia rail link is also being planned through a rail JV of CCL.
To enhance capacity, CIL will be extending the rail links to newer loading points and will also undertake to double and tripling the lines in some cases.” The company is underpinning for a cleaner environment in coal transportation and has placed increased impetus on rail evacuation gradually migrating away from the road movement of the dry fuel. Reduced road transportation of coal would reduce dust pollution and save on the diesel costs as well,” the official said.
Ending November this fiscal, CIL’s exclusive rail – coal movement at around 202 mts went up by 16%, year-on-year, while the road mode fell by 33%. During FY 20 road movement of coal was down by 11%. Rail mode transportation accounted for 56% of the total coal off-take during Apr-Nov’20. Rail and Merry-Go-Round combined was close to 76%.