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Indian Railways sees need for dedicated coal corridors

September 20, 2023
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Map of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor route from Punjab to Bihar.
Map of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor route from Punjab to Bihar.

New Delhi - A recent Railway Board study underscores the imperative need for dedicated coal corridors to meet the escalating power demand in India, according to a report. The study highlights that the bulk of coal transportation originates from Odisha, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh to various regions in the north, west, and southeast of the nation.

The report emphasizes the necessity of establishing exclusive railway tracks for coal transportation along these routes. The report, focused on estimating coal transportation by rail until 2030, stresses the alignment of coal corridors with dedicated freight corridors (DFC).

Specifically, it recommends prioritizing the development of coal corridors with the east coast DFC and the eastern section of the east-west DFC. These corridors would facilitate the movement of coal, particularly from Talacher to ports along the eastern coastline. Estimates indicate that India’s energy requirements will surge to approximately 3,000 billion units (BU) annually by 2030.

With an anticipated population of 1.51 billion in 2030, per capita energy consumption in India is expected to hover around 2,000 units annually. The study underscores the potential repercussions of any energy shortfall, which could severely hamper the nation’s growth, leading to shortages or outages across various sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture, and transport.

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