Jharsuguda-Barpali rail line by June 2016

Optimistic of completion of the first phase of crucial Jharsuguda-Barpali railway line by June, 2016, the centre on Thursday said it had not rejected Odisha government’s application seeking Chhendipada coal blocks for the state PSUs.
“I am happy to inform that Jharsuguda-Barpali rail line which is one of the three major railway lines for evacuation of coal in the country, has progressed well. The first phase single line of Jharsuguda-Barpali line will be completed by June 2016,” union coal secretary Anil Swarup told reporters here.

Swarup was here to discuss the progress of 11 coal mines of Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL). He said completion of the Jharsuguda-Barpali railway line would ensure evacuation of about 20 million tonnes of coal from the pit head to power plants located in other places.

“As MCL has already made a record by producing 120 million tonnes of coal last year and targets 150 million tonnes production this year, the importance of the new railway line is very important,” Swarup said adding coal availability is not a problem now, but there is challenge in evacuation of the dry fuel from pit head.

While giving adequate stress on coal evacuation system Swarup said the country has generated 494 million tonnes of coal this year which is 32 million tonne from the previous year. This year also the target is about 12 per cent more.

On state government’s efforts to expedite coal production, Swarup said the state administration have been very positive. The Chief Secretary has directed officials to complete works within specific time line.

To a question, the Union Coal Secretary said Centre has not rejected any application of the state government to avail Chendipada coal blocks. “Let me clarify, the centre has not rejected any proposal of the state government. We have certain process for the coal block allocation. We will consider the case of Odisha in next round of allocation of coal blocks under due procedure,” Swarup said.

To another query, Swarup said Odisha government would earn about Rs.45,000 crore over a period of 25 to 30 years from the coal blocks located in the state.

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