The Ministry of Coal (MoC) has taken up 68 first mile connectivity (FMC) projects for seamless evacuation of coal.
The ministry has undertaken 51 FMC projects (44 – Coal India Limited (CIL), 4- Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) and 3 – NLC India Limited) of 522 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) capacity, out of which 8 projects (6-CIL and 2-SCCL) of 95.5 mtpa capacity have been commissioned. These 51 projects will cost about Rs 180 billion and all of them will be commissioned by 2024-25. Since CIL has taken up new projects in production of coal, it has been proposed to take up additional 17 FMC projects with capacity 317 mt to be implemented during 2020-2027. FMC projects will reduce manual intervention, precise pre-weighed quantity, reduced loading time and better quality of coal can be loaded. Reduced loading time will increase availability of rakes/wagon. Easing the load on road networks promotes cleaner environment and savings on diesel. It will be an all-round win-win situation for the company, railways and the consumers. Notably, the MoC has set a target to produce 1.3 billion tonne (bt) in 2024-25 and 1.5 bt by 2029-30 to strengthen India’s energy security and to realise AtmaNirbhar Bharat by replacing imported coal with domestically mined coal. Keeping in view the increased coal evacuation in future, MoC is working on the development of National Coal Logistic Plan including FMC through railway sidings near coal mines and strengthening of rail network in coalfields.