The allocation of Rs 50,000 crore by the centre under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan for coal evacuation infrastructure is likely to go into the development of coal handling plants, ports and strengthening of the transportation chain.
“The allocation will mostly go for development of coal handling and transportation as we want to reduce transportation by road to zero and want upgraded conveyer belts for transportation,” said a senior Coal India executive. For long distance transportation in areas like Paradip port, transportation through shipments is the ideal way for seamless movement, he said.
The function of a coal handling plant in a thermal power station is to receive, process, feed and store the coal bunkers consistently over the entire life of the power plant. Development of coal handling plants apart from efficient loading and reduced manual intervention can ensure better quality in the coal supply chain.
For transportation of coal from pithead to the despatch point, Coal India will be switching to mechanised coal transportation through piped conveyor belts, replacing the existing mode of road transportation. The investment worth Rs 18,000 crore has been flagged for mechanised transfer of coal through conveyor belts from mines to railways sidings.