Coal Ministry asked to track Rail linkage projects

House panel says Rly support key to achieve 1-billion tonne output by 2020

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Coal and Steel, in its report tabled in the Lok Sabha on Friday, said that the production target of one billion tonnes by 2020 is ambitious and to achieve this, an evacuation mechanism is required by enhancing railway infrastructure.

On its part, the Coal Ministry informed the panel that it has made arrangements to hold meetings every month to sort out bottlenecks for three major rail lines — one each in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

“The Committee express its satisfaction at the proposed initiatives being undertaken by the government for development of required railway infrastructure for coal evacuation. However, at the same time emphasis on constant monitoring must be maintained,” the panels’ report.

Pending green clearance

The committee also expressed concern over getting environment and forest clearance for Coal India projects.

A total of 187 forest clearance applications and 23 environment clearance applications are pending for Coal India; five forest and 11 environment clearance proposals are pending for Singareni Collieries Company Ltd and three environment clearances are pending for Neyveli Lignite Corporation as of March 2015.

While the panel’s report expressed satisfaction over the setting up of the project monitoring group, it suggested that a mechanism to streamline the process of obtaining green clearances in a co-ordinated manner can be looked at by the Coal Ministry.