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New Delhi: A total of 14 railway infrastructure projects are being implemented to increase coal dispatches in Chhattisgarh and Odisha and to ensure that rail line capacity is adequately addressed for coal transportation up to FY26, according to a statement from ministry of Commerce and Industry.

“A meeting was organised under the chairmanship of CEO, NITI Aayog to review and discuss the mission of Coal India Limited to produce 1 billion tonnes of coal by 2025-26. Coal remains the primary domestic fuel for India as well as the single largest commodity transported across the country; thus the mining, supply and consumption of coal is central to the growth of Indian economy," the statement said.

State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) plans to invest 19,650 crore by FY24 to increase coal transportation capacity by an additional 330 million tonne (mt) through rail by constructing rail links and setting up joint ventures.

“As discussed in the meeting, rail remains the dominant evacuation mode for coal with an aim to expand its modal share from 64% to 75% by FY30. To cater to the increased coal dispatch in Chhattisgarh and Odisha, 14 railway infrastructure projects are under implementation in lines with GatiShakti principles. The railway line capacity is adequately addressed for coal transportation up to FY2026. In order to promote coal production by private companies, railways have also taken steps such as reduction in conversion fee from private siding to private freight terminal from 1 Cr to 10 Lac," the statement added.

The world’s largest coal miner rail mobility play comes in the backdrop of a coal shortage that raised concerns. The situation since then has improved.

While three railway lines in Central Coalfields Ltd and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd are being constructed by CIL at an investment of 7,994 crore to transport 170 million tonnes annually, the PSU has also formed joint ventures with Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha requiring an investment of 11,656 crore to transport 160 million tonnes of fuel every year.

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