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Government taking steps for smooth transportation of coal: Anil Swarup

PTI 23 Nov 2014, 12:14:09 PM IST

Mumbai: The government is taking steps to ensure hassle-free transportation of coal from remote mines, apart from increasing its production capacity, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup has said.

The government has decided to auction over 74 coal blocks of the 214 mines which were cancelled by the Supreme Court on September 25 and expects re-allocation of the first lot to be completed by the middle of March.

"We have abundant coal reserves. But the issue is with evacuation of this fuel. As we are preparing the action plan for the process, we are also incorporating measures that need to be taken for hassle-free transportation of coal from remote mines," he told reporters here over the weekend.

Some of the measures the government is taking are ramping up the number of rakes that will carry the mined coal and increasing the number of railway lines, among others.

"The government has decided to increase the number of railway lines over the next five years that will enable transportation of 1 billion tonnes of coal produced by Coal India," Mr Swarup said.

He said the new rail lines coming up in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha will transport more than 200 million tonnes of coal from these states to power producers.

"The government has planned to increase the number of rakes from the existing 200 to 460 in the next few years. Currently, the 200 rakes carry around 480 million tonnes coal, so when we have to increase the capacity to 1 billion tonnes, we will need additional rakes," he said.

Besides, the government is also planning to use technology to improve the turnaround time for loading and unloading for coal.

"We are also studying as to what technology can be used to have mechanised system of loading and unloading so the turnaround time comes down. These are a few, but we are taking many more steps to improve evacuation of coal, which will be incorporated in the action plan," he added.