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CIL to ramp up rail infrastructure

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World Coal,

Coal India Ltd (CIL), underpinning for a cleaner environment in coal transportation, has placed increased impetus on rail evacuation and will gradually migrate away from the road movement of the dry fuel.

Reduced road transportation of coal would depress the dust pollution and save on the diesel costs.

Ending November of the ongoing fiscal, CIL’s exclusive rail coal movement at around 202 million t went up by 16%, on a y/y comparison, while the road mode fell by 33%. During 2019 – 2020, road movement of coal was also down by 11%. Rail mode transportation accounted for 56% of the total coal off-take of CIL in April – November 2020. Rail and merry-go-round combined was close to 76%.

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.3370 crores in four of its subsidiaries. These would be commissioned by FY24. 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 approximately 555 million tpy of coal through mechanised means by FY24.

With CIL aspiring for 1 billion t output by FY24, the nudge is to transport bulk of the coal through rail mode. In this backdrop, CIL is ramping up its rail evacuation facilities.

South Eastern Coalfields Ltd account for ten of the proposed 21 sidings followed by Central Coalfields Ltd with six, Eastern Coalfields Ltd three and Bharat Coking Coal Ltd 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 joint ventures (JV) 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 Tori-Shivpur 3rd rail line is underway. Construction of Shivpur-Kathautia rail link is also being planned through a rail JV of CCL.

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