Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 7:
Union Coal secretary Anil Swaroop today said two special purpose vehicles (SPVs) would be set up in Odisha for speedy transport of coal from the mines.
Briefing newsmen after a meeting with chief secretary GC Pati and other senior officials at the State Secretariat here, Swaroop said the two SPVs would be set up at Talcher in Angul district and Ib Valley in Jharsuguda district.
“Further discussions in this regard will be required at various levels, including in New Delhi. But a preliminary agreement was reached today to form two SPVs, one in Talcher and the other in Ib Valley coalfields for evacuation of coal,” the coal secretary said.
Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), the Coal India Llimited (CIL) subsidiary, will have the majority stake in the proposed SPV with 64% while a Railways entity would have 26% and the Odisha government the rest 10%, Swaroop said.
The two SPVs would be primarily for construction of additional lines and sidings for faster evacuation of coal from the mines, he said.
“Coal extraction is just one part. Getting coal from the pitheads to the points where they are put to use has been a major problem. Railway lines are either non-existent or lacking in capacity to handle the volume of transport,” he said.
“The Union government has set a target to enhance coal production in the country, which currently stands at 500 million tonnes (MTs) annually, to 1 billion tonnes in the next five years, that is by 2020. During this period, MCL’s capacity is proposed to be enhanced from 125 MT to 250 MTs. There is thus need for substantial additional capacity in terms transport facilities,” the coal secretary said.
MCL has high pithead stocks where production is much higher than evacuation.
Asked about the upcoming auction of coal mines, Swaroop said the process is well on course. “Technical bids are being received now. It will continue till February 12. After that the financial bids would be invited and the entire process would be over by March as scheduled,” he said.