New Delhi: Railways today stepped up efforts to expedite rail connectivity projects for smooth coal movement required for power generation.
It was decided at a joint meeting held between Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda and Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal to expedite three critical rail connectivity projects for coal movement in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.
Railways has committed to complete three crucial rail link projects by 2016. The rail connectivity would help evacuate and deliver to customers nearly 100 million tonnes of coal annually from mines in the three states.
The projects are Tori-Shivpur (44 kms) Shivpur-Kathautia (53 kms) railway line in North Karanpura in Jharkhand, Jharsuguda-Barpalli-Sardega railway line (53 kms) in Lb Valley, Odisha and Bhupdevpuir-Korichapan-Dharamjaigarh (180 kms) in Mand-Raigarh coalfield, Chhattisgarh.
“The matter was discussed in detail in the meeting to produce and transport 100 million tonnes of coal for augmenting the power generation in the country,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.
“Both Ministers stressed the need for completing the projects on time with clear timelines,” he added.
Railway Minister gave instructions for better coordination among various stake holders and all officers concerned were given instructions to comply with timelines for construction of these lines.
These three projects are progressing slowly due to land acquisition and forest clearance issues at the state level. It was decided to have continuous monitoring of these projects at Minister's level in order to give fillip to the construction of these lines.
A multi disciplinary Project Monitoring Unit is also being formed with representative from Railways, Ministry of Coal and Department of Revenue and Forest and state governments concerned for better coordination.
A visit to Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh by senior officials of all Ministries concerned is likely to take place next week to sort out the pending issues of land acquisition and forest and environment.