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With coal production increasing over six per cent and offtake at only 3.2 per cent during the year, logistics and coal evacuation comes into core focus for Coal India.
"Evacuation is growing at 3.5 per cent while, production is growing at more than 6.7 per cent till January 6 this year. Unless there is evacuation, what is the point in production," Coal India Chairman Suthirtha Bhattacharya said.
Even with this production rate Coal India has been able to reach 96 per cent of the production target to 349.9 million tonne (till first week of January) and is planning to bring a big push to production of 1 billion tonne coal by 2020, Coal ministry and Coal India has turned their focus toward evacuation infrastructure.
Bhattacharya said lot of deliberations have been carried out with ministry and internally on various models to enhance the rail connectivity for coal movement.
CIL has also roped in just-retired Railway Board member A K Moitra as advisor on railway and logistics.
Total 50 odd rail projects had been identified to connect with mines. "We are looking at various models. We pay and give the responsibility of building the infrastructure to the Railways and, in return, we get freight discounts.
"The second model could be that we form a SPV which can collect freight from all the users. In these SPVs we can also involve the state governments.
"When I was at in Krishnapattam, RVNL, NMDC, port authorities as well as state government became members of the SPV...," Bhattacharya said. Mahanadi Coalfields and Central Coalfields have high pithead stocks where productions are more than evacuations. Bhattacharya also pointed that there was need for smarter coal stock management during monsoons.
"We need to look at and cutting redundancies which lead to seasonal spiking in demand for rakes leading to its shortages," he said.
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