State-owned Coal India Ltd. (CIL), has decided to implement large scale mechanization of coal handling and transportation.
At present, majority of coal is transported via road adding to dust and air pollution, hence this is move is also part of a larger green initiative promoting environmental security. Mechanization shall further also help in minimizing coal pilferage.
Scope of the Mechanized Coal Handling Drive
Coal India has decided to invest Rs. 17,500 Cr. over next five years for implementing mechanized coal handling and loading systems in its large mines. This system shall be introduced in 35 projects which have a yearly production capacity of 4 million tonnes and above. At, present this system is in practice only in some of the mines of CIL.
Introducing this system would mean that the coal shall be transported through piped conveyor belts from the pitheads to dispatch points replacing existing road transport. It shall also involve setting up coal handling plants (CHPs) with silos, enabling quick crushing, and sizing of coal along with the advantage of quicker and quality coal loading.
At present mechanized coal handling systems are in operating in some of the mines which transported a combined 151 million tonnes of coal in last financial year. After implementation of this large mechnization drive covering 35 projects approx. 420 million tonnes of coal shall be loaded through silos and surge bins annually.
Coal India aims to produce 880 million tonnes of coal by FY 2023-24 of which 65% (or approx. 571 million tonnes) shall be carried by the mechanized handling systems.