Trial run on Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd rail line begins 

South Eastern Railway (SER) has begun trial run of the Sardega-Jharsuguda rail line which will play critical role in bulk evacuation of coal from the mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.

ROURKELA: Finally, the South Eastern Railway (SER) has begun trial run of the Sardega-Jharsuguda rail line which will play critical role in bulk evacuation of coal from the mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) in Sundargarh district.SER and MCL sources informed that the trial run started a couple of days ago to remove teething problems and after running at least 15 railway rakes, the new track may be put to full use in next few weeks. The new rail line would ensure evacuation of 75-80 per cent of coal from the district to power houses in Southern and Western parts of the country through Jharsuguda link and 20-25 per cent to eastern India through Dhutura link, both on Howrah-Mumbai main line.

Under the first phase, the single line project with auto signalling system has length of 50.3 km from Sardega in Sundargarh to adjacent Jharsuguda station without Loading Bulb. Similarly, Loading Bulb track length is 52.4 km. The MCL funded project’s cumulative cost is about `1,044 crore. With two present loading platforms, about 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) could be dispatched and on becoming fully operational, dispatch capacity would reach 34.23 MTPA.

SER’s Kolkata-based Chief Spokesperson Sanjay Ghosh said the Sardega-Jharsuguda rail project would ensure faster rake movement and lower wagon turnaround for asset optimisation. He said the coal mines in Basundhara Area of MCL in Hemgir block would play a critical role in energy security of the country and the MCL has partnered with SER for required rail logistics. The new rail project will subsequently multiply freight revenue of Chakradharpur Division manifolds and also open up new economic opportunities in the region, he added.

Similarly, new loading points in shapes of MGR (Merry Go Round) Bulb would be added to use 18 trains daily by 2019-20. The expansion plans involve introduction of six Rapid Loading System (RLS) on six Bulb Lines.MCL’s Gopalpur-Manoharpur coal blocks in Sundargarh comprises Garjanbahal, Kulda, Basundhara (West), Chaturdhara, Madhupur, Siarmal and Siarmal (West). The present capacity of Kulda open cast project is 14 MTPA and Basundhar open cast project is 2 MTPA and Garjanbahal open cast mine with 3 MTPA is likely to become operational in 2018-19.As per revised estimate, the MCL in next five to 10 years hopes to dispatch nearly 80 MTPA and utilise another 20 MTPA for its upcoming thermal power project in Sundargarh.

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