To ensure the energy security of the country, the Ministry of Coal is in the process of enhancing coal production to the ambitious target of 1.23 billion tonnes (BT) by FY 2024-25.
Coal India Ltd (CIL) has fast-tracked the commissioning of coal-evacuation rail projects in Jharkhand for faster fuel transportation.
North Karanpura Coalfield, a major coalfield in Jharkhand, has a coal resource of about 19 billion tonnes falling under the administrative control of Coal India arm Central Coalfields Limited (CCL).
Of the total estimated coal output of about 135 million tonnes (MT) by FY25, around 85 MT is expected to be produced in North Karanpura Coalfield from several Greenfield/Brownfield coal mining projects.
These projects include Amrapali (25 MT), Magadh (51 MT), Chandragupta (15 MT), Sanghmitra (20 MT) etc.
Presently, coal evacuation from the North Karanpura Coalfield is covered by Barkakana-Daltonganj branch railway line of the East Central Railway (ECR) connecting Gomoh and Dehri-on-Son via Barkakana loop.
Due to evacuation issues, development and production from the coalfield have been restricted for the last two decades.
To solve the problem, the 90-km loop from Tori (near Ranchi) to Kathautia (near Hazaribagh), connecting the Hazaribagh-Kodarma line, was planned in 1998.
The project implementation barely progressed till about 2014, when the Modi government decided to complete the 44 km Tori-Shivpur rail line on a priority basis.
The 44.37-kilometre Tori-Shivpur double railway line has been created by the Coal India arm and facilitates coal transportation from CCL’s open cast mines Amrapali and Magadh in Jharkhand’s Latehar and Chatra districts, respectively.
At an additional capital of Rs 894 crores, the development of a third line in the same alignment (i.e. Tori-Shivpur-Kathautia) is under construction, which is likely to be operationalised by May 2023.
The Tori-Shivpur-Kathautia railway line project has been envisaged by Ministry of Coal under PM Gati Shakti initiative and will link North Karanpura Coalfield in Jharkhand.
The project is likely to add around 125 MT coal evacuation capacity and help in reducing transportation of dry fuel via road.
The Shivpur-Kathautia railway line of 49 km has been envisaged and is being constructed through formation of project specific SPV, which shall provide another exit for coal evacuation via Kodarma to the trunk railway line from Howrah to Delhi.
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