Absence of rail link causing 100 mn tonne loss: CIL Chief

Absence of rail link causing 100 mn tonne loss: CIL Chief New Delhi: Railways' failure to provide connectivity to mines even after receiving Rs 300 crore from Coal India is causing annual production loss of 100 million tonne (MT) of coal, CIL Chairman S Narsing Rao said Sunday.

The production loss resulting from lack of railway connectivity is equivalent to about one-fourth of the CIL's total annual output.

Coal India Ltd (CIL) had paid to the Railways Rs 150 crore each for providing link to its North Karanpura coalfield in Jharkhand and Ib Valley coalfield in Odisha.

"Coal India had taken initiative ten years ago, going on and on. We have paid Rs 150 crore to the Railways for Jharkhand and Rs 150 crore for Ib Valley. Nobody is saying about that. They are not doing any charity. We are funding 100 percent.

"I am in a position to produce coal - 100 MT (per annum). My plans are ready, clearances are there, projects are ready, but I have no rail connectivity to transport," Rao told PTI.

CIL with an annual production of 435 MT has faced criticism from power producers and the industry for not meeting the fuel requirements.

Rao said as per agreement with the Railways both the projects are being built through 100 percent funding by CIL but there was little progress on these.

"Both the consumers and the government should be asking them (Railways) why these railway tracks are not coming over when particularly Coal India is willing to even pay 100 percent not even one rupee less," he said.

Coal India is the near-monopoly producer of coal, accounting for 84 percent of the domestic output. It has fallen short of production target by 11 MT.

CIL chief said as per original plans, rail project for North Karanpura coalfield, work on which had started in 1999, was scheduled for completion in 2005. But only half of the project would be completed by March, 2015.

PTI