IDCO-MCL to develop common rail corridor in Rampia coal block

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has decided to set up a joint venture between the state-owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) and Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) to develop a common railway corridor for evacuation of coal from Rampia Coal Block, official sources said.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting presided over by Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra.

The meeting resolved that it would cause a large displacement and destruction of large forest if individual power projects were allowed to draw their own railway line.

Therefore, a common rail corridor could solve the problem, it was resolved.

Mohapatra has directed to identify the alignment of the line in such a manner that minimum of human habitations are displaced and less of the forest land is diverted.

The chief secretary has also advised that IDCO and MCL should take the lead to form a joint venture among the companies for implementation of the project.

Rampia Coal Mines & Energy Private Limited (RCMEPL) has been allocated two coal blocks located in IB valley area of Sundargarh district.

Sources say, the total reserve in these mines is around 645 MT. This will cater to the need of Strilite's 1000 MW IPP at Jhatsuguda, GMR's 1000 MW IPP at Dhenkanal, Arcellor's 750 MW CPP at Keonjhar, Lanco's 1000 MW IPP in Dhenkanal and Reliance's 1000 MW IPP in Jharsuguda.

MCL has also major coal blocks in this area. For evacuation of coal from these mines it has been decided that a common railway corridor will be developed with equity participation from the government of Odisha and MCL.

It has been proposed that IDCO and MCL will start the company in which other partners may join later on.

Shares will be held by IDCO, MCL and other user companies. Common corridor will reduce land requirement and forest land diversion problem. MCL has been nominated as the lead member to formulate common alignment plan of the corridor in consultation with other partners, they said.