Minister of State for Coal Pratik Prakashbapu Patil informed that by the end of the 12th five-year plan (2017), work on the three railway lines crucial for evacuating coal from the mines of Coal India (CIL) would be completed.
The commissioning of these rail projects would facilitate coal evacuation (transportation) from ongoing and future projects and thus help in increasing the production and supply of coal from these coalfields, Patil said in Parliament recently.
The three lines are - the Tori-Shivpur line in Jharkhand, the Bhupdeopur-Korichappar-Korba line in Chhattisgarh and Gopalpur-Manoharpur in Odisha, Patil informed.
CIL has earlier said that it would be able to meet the government target of 615 million tonne of coal production by 2016-17 only if the key rail lines in the three coal-bearing states are set up.
The Tori-Shivpur line will connect the North Karanpura-Auranga coalfields in Jharkhand and is intended to handle 80 million tonne of coal a year. The Odisha rail link is seen transporting 30 million tonne a year from the IB Valley coalfield. Both are likely to be commissioned by end-March 2017.
Coal can be evacuated from CIL's Mand-Raigarh and Korba fields using the Chattisgarh rail link, which is seen transporting 40 million tonne of the fuel. This link may be operational by the beginning of 13th Plan Period, Patil said, referring to the next five-year plan period running from April 2017 to 2022.