Centre to build 60 Railway lines, buy 200 Wagons for coal evacuation

New Delhi: The Central Government will construct 60 railway lines and purchase 200 rakes as it aims to speed up coal evacuation as well as achieve the target of one billion tonne production of the fuel by 2020.

State-run coal miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) will increase coal production from 494 million tonne (MT) at present to one billion tonne by 2020, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said here.

“We will take into account everything that is required for this. How will it be evacuated, what is the amount of land required for this, what is the railway line to be constructed? We will be constructing 60 railway lines.

“Right now we are using 200 odd rakes to evacuate coal. We are going to buy another 200 in the next three years and have already placed orders for 34,” he said at an event organised by industry body PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Swarup said that to construct railway line, the ministry has set up joint ventures, as these railway lines will not be put up by the Railway Ministry.

“We have set up two JVs, one in Odhisha and other in Jharkhand where state governments are participating in this. That JVs will be making the railway mines,” he added.

When asked about financing of construction of railway lines and purchasing the rakes, he said: “CIL is sitting on Rs 53,000 crore.”

On the progress in coal blocks that were recently auctioned, he said that seven mines have started production.

“I will not be able to put a finger on the exact number, but seven mines have started mining and my hope is of the 28 mines all will start mining by the end of the year,” Swarup said.