Long-awaited Angul-Balram rail-link for coal evacuation opened

Built at the cost of ₹300 crore, the new rail-link will enable 40,000 Ton more daily coal dispatch from Talcher coalfields of Odisha

Angul Balram rail-link coal

New Delhi: Coal evacuation from Talcher coalfields got a major boost with inauguration of 14-km-long Angul-Balram rail link, which would enable Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) to increase daily dispatch of coal to the consumers by about 40 thousand tonne.

Built at the cost of ₹300 crore, commissioning of the first phase Angul-Balram rail-link, has enhanced the potential of MCL to dispatch coal by 10 more rakes daily. The rail-link was constructed by the Mahanadi Coal Railway Limited (MCRL), a joint venture company (JV) of MCL, IRCON International Ltd and IDCO.

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Union minister of coal and mines Pralhad Joshi along with minister of education and skill development Dharmendra Pradhan and minister of railways Ashwani Vaishnav jointly inaugurated the new rail-link.

The Angul-Balram rail link is the first phase of a total 68-km-long inner corridor – Angul-Balram-Putugadia-Jarapada-Tentuloi — which will cater to the coal mines of Talcher coalfields in Angul district of Odisha. The inner corridor is being implemented by MCRL in two phases. In the first phase, 14-km-long Angul-Balram rail link was to be constructed, while in the Phase-II 54-km-long Balram-Putugadia-Jarapada-Tentuloi rail-link would be completed.

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IRCON International Ltd is the implementing agency of this project, being developed at an estimated total cost of ₹1,700 crore.

Coal secretary Amrit Lal Meena, Coal India Limited (CIL) chairman Pramod Agrawal, chairman-cum-managing director of MCL OP Singh, director (personnel), MCL, Keshav Rao, director (technical), MCL, Jugal Kumar Borah and director (finance) Ajit Kumar Behura were also present at the inaugural ceremony.

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In the MCRL, MCL, as a representative of the coal ministry has 64% equity shares, while IRCON, representing the ministry of railways, has 26% and IDCO, representing the Govt of Odisha, has 10% equity shares. This JV was formed in 2015 to undertake project development, financing and implementation of common rail corridor for the identified coal projects in the state of Odisha.

The rail-link will also facilitate evacuation of dry fuel from the coal blocks allotted to miners other than CIM in Talcher coalfields.

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