Economy

Coal India plans 21 additional railway sidings

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on December 28, 2020

Coal-loaded wagons (file photo)   -  Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

The sidings will be constructed across four subsidiaries at an estimated investment of ₹3,370 crore

Coal India Limited (CIL) is constructing 21 additional railway sidings at an estimated investment of ₹3,370 crore across four of its subsidiaries. These projects, which include both greenfield and brownfield ones, will be commissioned by FY24.

CIL currently has around 152 rail sidings and the tally will go up to 173, by 2024.

South Eastern Coalfields Ltd will account for 10 of the proposed 21 sidings followed by Central Coalfields Ltd with six. Eastern Coalfields Ltd will have three new sidings and Bharat Coking Coal Ltd two.

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First-mile connectivity

Rail mode transportation accounted for 56 per cent of CIL’s total coal off-take in the April -November period of FY20. Rail and merry-go-round system combined was close to 76 per cent, the company said in a release.

Till November, the world’s largest coal miner saw the exclusive rail-coal movement of around 202 million tonnes (mt), up by 16 per cent, on a year-on-year basis while transportation of coal through road fell by 33 per cent.

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“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 systems will help improve loading quantity in future,” said a senior official of the company.

The company is aiming to move about 555 mt of coal per year through mechanised means by FY24, the release further said, adding that the thrust is on transporting bulk of the coal through rail mode.

Apart from investing in new sidings, CIL is refurbishing old ones, strengthening rail connectivity between the sidings and the main rail lines.

New broad-gauge lines

The PSU miner 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 capacity enhancement, CIL will be extending the rail links to newer loading points and doubling and tripling the lines in some cases, the release said.

For instance, the 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 Tori-Shivpur third rail line construction is under way. Construction of Shivpur-Kathautia rail link is also being planned through a rail JV of CCL.

Published on December 28, 2020

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