To reach coal to consumers in South, CIL charts a new course

On Monday when power generation utilities from the South raise with Coal India the issue of inadequate supplies from Talcher mines in Odisha, CIL Chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya may have a solution.

He will offer consumers from the South new linkages from West Bengal or Jharkhand.

Only, now, these consumers will need to use the the coastal shipping mode too, rather than just the Railways, to move the fuel.

Decongesting railways

“The initiative has been worked out in close co-ordination with the Railways,” Bhattacharya toldBusinessLine.

A rough assessment suggests that Mahanadhi Coalfields Ltd fails to honour linkages of up to 15 million tonnes every year mainly due to inadequate rail infrastructure, including congested tracks.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had acknowledged this in his Budget speech, and said that it will take time to enhance track capacities and wagon availability.

In the interim, CIL is trying to meet supplies from areas where wagons are availabile. “Ports like Haldia or Dhamra have high demand for wagons to carry import cargo. That means easy availability of empties travelling to the ports. We are trying to tap this,” the CIL Chairman said.

CIL believes it can meet at least a part of the 15-million-tonne shortage of the South with supplies from the mines in West Bengal and Jharkhand.

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