Transporting Coal: Rs 22,067 Crore Rail Projects Under Implementation In Jharkhand, Odisha And Chhattisgarh

Snapshot

Fourteen railway projects are under implementation in Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

These projects taken up with Rs 22,067 crores aims to augment coal evacuation capacity from the point of origin to consumption centres.

 

Fourteen railway projects are being undertaken towards increasing the efficiency and further enhancing the capacity of the coal evacuation process, which will help reduce the time and cost incurred in the transportation of the coal.

These projects will cover a distance of 2,680 km and spread across Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The total estimated cost for these projects is expected to be Rs 22,067 crores.

Once these projects are commenced, they are expected to augment the coal evacuation capacity to 410 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA)..

“Transporting coal via road over longer distances poses some of the major pitfalls and is detrimental to the environment and dents the coal miners pocket with increased cost of transportation,” the Ministry of Coal said.

“Presently, Coal India Limited (CIL) incurs about Rs 3,400 crore on transportation charges of coal. Also, large volumes of coal are transported via road, which many times lead to accidents while passing through rural areas because of narrow and poorly maintained road structures,” it added.

To avert these hindrances, the Government has projected to invest in alternative modes of transport, viz: rail, inland waterways, coastal shipping etc. These modes aim to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation of coal.

Improving The Infra Of Coal Transportation

Coal is the mainstay of the Indian energy sector, catering to more than 50 per cent of the total energy generation capacity mix. Multiple industries such as power utilities, steel, cement and other end-use sectors consume coal in bulk quantities in all states. In contrast, coal production is mainly concentrated in a few states only.

Creating transportation infrastructures and efficiently managing the logistics to transport coal from the point of origin to consumption centres are major challenges for the sustainable development of the coal market.

Elementary modes of coal transport are Rail, Road and the Rail-cum-Sea route and captive modes such as Merry-Go-Round (MGR) Systems, Conveyor Belts and Ropeways. Currently, coal is being transported majorly through railways, followed by road transportation and MGRs.

“The Government of India is presented with a challenge to reduce the logistics cost from production centre to consumption centre and to counter these they are taking up various projects for First Mile Connectivity (FMC),” the official statement said.

The investment amount to be infused by Coal India for the First Mile Connectivity projects is estimated at Rs 14,200 crores by FY 2023-24, in two phases for its 49 FMC projects. To further increase the transportation of coal, CIL has placed Rapid Loading System (RLS) in 19 mines of CIL.

CIL is constructing 21 additional railway sidings at an estimated investment of Rs 3,370 crores across four of its subsidiaries. These projects, including greenfield and brownfield ones, will be commissioned by FY24.

The sidings will add fillip to CIL’s first-mile connectivity efforts, acting as effective coal evacuation outlets. The company aims to move about 555 MT of coal per year through mechanised means by FY24.