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As Coal India Ltd slips on output, government puts rail projects on fast track

Tuesday, 4 February 2014 - 10:11am IST | Place: Kolkata | Agency: DNA

After some bad news on the production front, here’s some good news for investors of Coal India Ltd (CIL).

After suffering years of delays, work on three crucial railway projects connecting coal mines in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have been taken up for fast-track clearances and expected to get commissioned by end of calendar 2016.

“Some of the railway projects that the Project Monitoring Cell of the Cabinet secretariat is handling are extremely critical for the country including one each in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

“When these projects come up India would be self sufficient in coal. And the hope is the projects would come up by December 2016 because we have managed to get environmental clearances for some of these projects,” Anil Swarup, additional secretary, and chairman, Project Monitoring Group, said. Of these three projects, work on laying Todi-Shibpur line connecting North Karanpura and Auranga coalfields in Jharkhand would start this month, he said.

In Odisha, tracks would be laid to connect Jharsugda-Sardegha-Angul-Kalinga, and in Chhattisgarh Railways would link Barud-Bukhdebpur-Annupur.

“For the Odisha project the papers for forest clearance (stage 1) are being prepared now while the special purpose vehicle proposed for the project in Chhattisgarh has now been formed, which can now proceed with the application for the clearances,” he said.

Cash-rich CIL had earlier agreed to fund these railway infrastructure by spending as much as Rs 7,500 crore in the 12th Plan period (2012-17).

The development comes at a time when CIL is struggling hard to keep up its production slipping regularly to meet targets.

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