Completion of Key Rail Line projects to improve Coal Supplies from Next Fiscal

Coal India Limited (CIL) is undertaking three critical railway infrastructure projects that will enable the miner to efficiently evacuate 282-million tons a year of production. Doubling of track capacity between Jharsuguda and Vizianagaram via the coal belts of Sambalpur and Titlagarh will improve the scope of evacuation and the pace of supplies to the South.

BHUBANESWAR: Coal supplies will improve significantly beginning 2018, riding on the completion of key rail projects in Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

In Odisha, the Coal India Ltd financed 53.5-km Jharsuguda-Barapali rail link is expected to be ready by December; paving the way for moving nearly 80 million tonnes of additional fuel from the vast Ib Valley reserves in Sundergarh district.

This coupled with the ongoing doubling of track capacity between Jharsuguda and Vizianagaram via the coal belts of Sambalpur and Titlagarh will improve significantly both the scope of evacuation and the pace of supplies to the South. Currently, the region is connected by a single-line.

The Railways is on course to resuming work on the 30-km Talcher-Angul loopline to pace up supplies from the Talcher coalfields. The project has been stalled the last five years due to land acquisition issues for a 3- km stretch.

Sources told that the Railways has finally made some headway in land acquisition. The project is now expected to be completed next year.

The loopline will help circular movement of rakes, thereby increasing the pace of evacuation from Talcher by 50-60 per cent. State-owned CIL now despatches 30-35 rakes a day from Talcher. The loopline is expected to increase this to 50 rakes a day.

Chhattisgarh East Railway Limited — a special purpose vehicle of South Eastern Coalfields Limited, IRCON and the State government — is reportedly making fast progress in connecting the prolific Mand Raigarh coalfield to the Kolkata-Mumbai line.

According to CIL sources, construction is apace and should link up the opencast mines at Chhal and Baroud by next year, adding approximately 20 million tonnes to the miner’s annual throughput. This line is to be extended to the prolific Gare Palma coalfields.

The Coal Ministry has asked the Railways to double the 25-km single-line connectivity between Shakti Nagar Railway Station on Dhanbad Division in Jharkhand and Karela in Madhya Pradesh. Karela is located on the Katni-Chopan line connecting eastern India with the North. This will help improve supplies by approximately 30 million tonnes annually from Northern Coalfields, a subsidiary of CIL.

The implementation of the Tori-Shibpur rail link in Jharkhand is progressing at a slow pace and is expected to reach Bhalumath (midway between Tori and Shibpur) by the end of this year. As a contingency plan, CIL has a laid a 20-km road connecting Bhalumath with the Magadh coalfields.

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