Published On:May 22 2020
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CCL first off with coal infra projects worth Rs. 1,200 crore.

Within days of finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing Rs. 50,000 crore investment in coal infrastructure as part of an economic stimulus, Central Coalfields Ltd. has become the first miner to bid out projects worth Rs. 1,200 crore for automation of coal handling operations in four of its largest mines.

The projects will cover some 55 million tonne of coal produced from Amrapali, Uri-Mari, Magadh and Piparwar/Ashoka mines in Jharkhand. Automation of moving coal from mines to railway siding and loading of rakes will result in environmental benefits by stopping air and land pollution from coal dust generated during transportation by trucks.

The projects envisage setting up conveyor belts for transporting coal from mines to railway sidings and coal-handling plants for loading wagons. The projects will take 30 months to complete. Automation of ‘first-mile’ connectivity and loading was part of the NDA-2 government’s 100-day programme.

Source said a comprehensive list of Coal India Ltd’s projects for coal transportation and handling is being prepared and an announcement is expected in the next few days.

The automation project for Magadh, which produces 20 million tonne of coal, is estimated to be worth Rs. 600 crore. This is set to be bid out in the next few days. The project for Amrapali, with 18 million tonne output, will cost Rs. 316 crore. Uri-Mari will require an investment of Rs. 290 crore and Piparwar/Ashoka Rs. 9 crore for handling 7.5 million tonne production. Tenders for all these have been announced.

Sitharaman had on Saturday announced several measures for the coal sector, including ending Coal India’s monopoly by allowing private companies to mine and sell coal without any end-use restriction, to ensure adequate availability and reduce imports. Simultaneously, she also announced the investment plan to improve coal handling and transportation infrastructure.

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