Odisha to implement coal corridor project

Bhubaneswar: With Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) not keen for the proposed Rs 8,000 crore common coal corridor project, Odisha government on Wednesday decided to take up the corridor work through its own agency.

“From today’s negotiations, we have come to know that RVNL is not keen on implementing the coal corridor project.

“Therefore, the state government will implement the project in Talcher-Angul area through Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO),” Odisha Chief Secretary BK Patnaik said.

Patnaik said IDCO would take up the matter from its own resources and the state owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) may join it in the rail corridor project in the coal rich Angul-Chhendipada-Talcher belt.

Stating that the state government has decided to implement the project despite RVNL refusing to partner with the IDCO, Patnaik said: “First, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be formed for executing the coal corridor project.

“Initially, this SPV will be formed with Idco. Then, we have to find an agency for planning and designing the project. Also, we have to choose a suitable model for project implementation.”

The 143 kilometre common coal corridor will have a capacity of handling 138 million tonnes of coal per annum. The coal corridor will cater to requirement of all blocks in the Talcher coalfields area.

As many as 23 steel plants, 22 power projects and 10 other industries would be benefited from the proposed coal corridor. The proposed project which required 1,800 acres of land on the initial stage, will pass through rail heads like Jharpada, Talcher, Chhendipada, Kaniha and Budhapanka, said NC Mohanty, adviser (coal) to the state’s Steel and Mines Department.

Though the state government had earlier issued a notification for the SPV named Mahanadi Railway for developing a common corridor for rail, water and power in the coal rich Angul-Chhendipada-Talcher region, it today decided to change the name to Brahmani Railways keeping in view the sentiments of the of Angul and Talcher area.