VISAKHAPATNAM: After the Koraput- Kothavalasa- Kirandul (K-K) railway line, which was badly damaged in the recent rains, was closed, the slow pace of the repair works is giving jitters to the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL).The closure of the railway tracks is affecting the RINL, the corporate entity of Vizag Steel Plant, as it is heavily dependant on the line for shifting of iron ore from the Bailadila mines in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh to the plant.
Though the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) which is responsible for ensuring sufficient supplies of iron ore to the RINL has made alternative arrangements by sending two or three rakes (one rake contains 54 wagons) through alternative routes, the RINL sources say that the iron ore stock at the steel plant is rapidly declining.
In the regular days, the NMDC also sends five to six rakes to the RINL, depending on the availability of rakes. As a practice, the RINL maintains a stock of iron ore up to six lakh tonnes which can feed to its demand for a month. With the less supply now, the stocks have decreased and the officials say that the available iron ore is sufficient for only 10 days. The RINL authorities are now eagerly waiting for the early completion of the KK line repairs.
The 80-metre railway bridge near Bora Caves on the KK line was badly damaged on October 6 due to landslides triggered by rain, bringing the train services to a grinding halt. After an inspection by the experts from the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Waltair DRM MS Mathur said that the works would be completed by December 12.
Meanwhile, the NDMC has arranged to shift iron ore through Koraput- Rayagada (R-V Line) which is a non-electrified one with meter gauge track. It is not suitable for carrying heavy load goods trains and it will take longer transportation time. Though there is no emergency situation at present, the RINL authorities want the K-K line track repair works expedited.
The VSP has two blast furnaces —Godavari and Krishna— and the third one was added as part of the expansion plan. To make these three furnaces work, the plant needs 24,000 tonnes of iron ore daily. Sources say that two furnaces are not working to the full capacity at present.
Cause of concern
The Koraput- Kothavalasa- Kirandul (K-K) line is the lifeline for RINL when it comes to shifting of iron ore to its stockyard
NMDC supplies iron ore to the plant from Bailadila mines in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh
As a practice, RINL maintains a stock of to six lakh tonne ore that can feed to its demand for a month
With the less supply, the stocks have decreased and the available ore is sufficient only for 10 days
NMDC, however, is supplying iron ore through Koraput- Rayagada (R-V Line) at present
Railway authorities say that the repair works are likely to be completed by Dec 12