Vikash Sharma

The Orissa High Court has directed the East Coast Railways (ECoR) to allot rakes for transportation of coal to the National Aluminium Company (NALCO) at Angul.

The interim direction came on the petition filed by Nalco Officers’ Association which had moved the High Court seeking a direction to resolve the serious crisis of coal shortage hitting the PSU.

Earlier, the Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of the Coal India Limited, had reduced its supply of coal to NALCO. The MCL is supplying 8,000 MT of coal to the aluminium giant every day in place of an agreed 18,000 –20,000 MT per day.

The reduction of the daily supply quota of coal has hit the NALCO hard. Apprehension over shutting down of the smelter plant cannot be ruled out if the coal supply is not normalised.

“If a request is made by NALCO to the East Coast Railway to allocate four rakes per day to transport coal from MCL’s Bharatpur Mines to NALCO’s plant at Angul, such request should be considered by the East Coast Railway on priority basis,” the High Court said.