14 railway projects at Rs 22,067 cr launched to enhance coal transportation efficiency
New Delhi/IBNS: Fourteen railway projects have been undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs. 22,067 crores towards increasing the efficiency and the capacity of the coal evacuation process which will help in reducing the time and cost incurred in its transportation, coal ministry said.
These projects will cover a distance of approximately 2,680 km across the states of Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Once these projects are commenced, they are expected to augment the coal evacuation capacity to the amounts of 410 MTPA. The transportation of the coal through the railway will also provide better connectivity and reach.
Transporting coal via road over longer distances poses some of the major pitfalls and is detrimental to the environment and dents the coal miners pocket with the increased cost of transportation.
The government is looking to augment coal production in country with integrated infrastructure and coordinated efforts of all infrastructure ministries --Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and Ministry of Ports Shipping and Waterways along with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. in line with the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan.
With the enhancement of logistics infrastructure, PM Gati Shakti NMP also aims to bring down logistics costs to 8 percent of GDP from the existing 13 percent.
Presently, Coal India Limited (CIL) incurs about Rs 3,400crore on transportation charges of coal.
Coal is the mainstay of the Indian energy sector catering to more than 50 percent of the total energy generation capacity mix.
Multiple industries of power utilities, steel, cement and other end-use industries consume coal in bulk quantities throughout the country while coal production is mostly concentrated in a few states only.
Creating transportation infrastructures and efficiently managing the logistics to transport coal from point of origin to consumption centres are major challenges for the sustainable development of the coal market.
Important modes of transport of coal are Rail, Road and the Rail-cum-Sea route and captive modes such as, Merry-Go-Round (MGR) Systems, Conveyor Belts & Ropeways.
At present, coal is being transported majorly through railways, followed by road transportation and MGRs.
To reduce the logistics cost from the production centre to the consumption centre and to counter these they are taking up projects for First Mile Connectivity are being taken up.
The investment amount to be infused by Coal India for the First Mile Connectivity projects is estimated at Rs. 14,200 crores by FY 2023-24, in two phases for its 49 FMC projects.
To further increase the transportation of coal, CIL has placed Rapid Loading System (RLS) in 19 mines of CIL.
CIL is constructing 21 additional railway sidings at an estimated investment of Rs 3,370 crores across four of its subsidiaries. These projects, which include both greenfield and brownfield ones, will be commissioned by FY24.
The sidings will add fillip to CIL’s first-mile connectivity efforts, acting as effective coal evacuation outlets.
The company is aiming to move about 555 MT of coal per year through mechanised means by FY24.
The Ministry of Coal is aiming to develop the entire evacuation channel starting right from the mines by investing in the development of SILOs, CHPs going up to the last channel and developing the railway sidings and constructing multiple railway lines to facilitate smooth movement of coal across the country.