Ranchi, May 4: The Jharkhand government, Coal Ministry and Railways signed memorandum of understanding for formation of a joint venture to construct railway lines in the command areas of Central Coalfields Ltd, a CIL arm for easy evacuation of coal from the mineral rich state.
The MoU was signed by the officials of the respective sides in the presence of Union Minister of State for Coal and Power (Independent Charge) Piyush Goyal, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha and Minister of State for Rural Development Sudarshan Bhagat.
The Coal Ministry’s share in the JV Company is 64 per cent, the Railway Ministry’s contribution is 26 per cent and the state government has a 10 per cent share in the total Rs 1,000 crore equity for construction of two railway lines and 10 railway sidings in the command area of the CIL’s subsidiary Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL).
Coal Secretary Anil Swarup, Coal India (CIL) Chairman S Bhattacharya and senior railway officials were also present on the occasion.
In his address, Goyal said the long-pending Tori-Shivpur railway line (44 km) and Shivpur-Kathotia railway line (48 km) are among the lines to be constructed under the project.
The rail transport, Goyal said, could carry 20 crore tonnes of coal that could help generate 40,000 MW electricity, supplying power to the entire eastern part of the country.
This would be in line with the government’s policy for power for all.
Goyal said that additionally, not only coal but there could be freight movement of other material. There could also be passenger movement which will benefit the people. There could be employment opportunities as well.
CIL said in a statement that a tripartite MoU was for formation of a JV to undertake project development, financing and implementation of identified projects on equity basis, a move that will yield positive results in coal evacuation logistics from North Karanpura coalfield area of CCL.
“All (the three parties) have reached a consensus that there is a need for development of rail infrastructure for evacuation of coal through rail.
“The development of the corridors shall be implemented either through the proposed JV or through separate project specific Joint Venture Companies,” it said.
The JV also extends for construction of railways sidings under the Tori-Shivpur-Kathotia railway line.
The construction work of the railway lines shall be undertaken only after process of land acquisition and environmental/forest clearances have been completed, and financial closure has been achieved, Coal India said in the statement.
It further said that the basic idea is to speed up the critical Tori-Shivpur-Kathotia railway line. The important railway line extending 93.5 kms and covering a total area of 1,053 hectares is one among the three critical lines that CIL is actively pursuing.
The other two are in Chattisgarh and Odisha. The major recipients of coal would be the power utilities of North and Western Grid, it said.