Mahanadi Coal Railway Ltd (MCRL) For Transportation of Coal in Talcher Coalfields
Rail Corridor to Facilitate Faster Coal Movement to Paradip and Damra Ports
Angul-Balarm 14 km Length To be functional in 2022
By PIB Delhi
Talcher coalfields of Mahanadi coalfield is one of the largest, with about 52 BT of coal resources, which is 15% of total prognosticated coal resources in the country. Of the available resources in Talcher Coalfield, more than 63% (33 BT) lies within 300 m depth, presenting significant potential for opencast mining.
Talcher coalfields have produced more than 95 Million Tonne (MT) of coal during FY22 and are likely to produce about 200 MT in FY 2024-25 and about 300 by FY 2030 from Mahanadi Coalfields Limited and allocated coal blocks. To ensure efficient coal evacuation, the construction of the rail line started in a phased manner in Talcher Coalfields, namely MCRL (Mahanadi Coal Railway Limited).
The Ministry of Coal has identified the construction of the MCRL Phase I & II project as a high-impact project under PM Gatishakti. “Mahanadi Coal Railway Limited (MCRL)” was incorporated on 31.08.2015 with 64% share of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), 26% of IRCON, and 10% share of Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha (IDCO)
The Alignment of the project traverses through the Angul district in Odisha. Angul and Jarapda are existing stations on the Indian Railways network. Balram is an existing loading station in Talcher–Balram private siding of MCL.
MCRL Phase-I (Angul-Balram) of 14 Km length is expected to be operationalized by this year. This railway line will cater to the evacuation of 25 MT coal from MCL mines in Talcher Coalfields.
MCRL Phase-II (Balram-Jarpada-Tentuloi) of 54 Km is expected to be commissioned by Dec’2025. It provides connectivity to allocated coal blocks on the southern side and central part of Talcher Coalfields.
Phase II is progressing rapidly, notification for Land acquisition and Forestry Clearance has been obtained. This railway line will cater to the evacuation of coal from CIL & Non-CIL Coal Blocks in Talcher Coalfields ~58 MT.
Thus MCRL rail corridor will be a game-changer in the evacuation of coal from Talcher coalfields. The rail corridor will improve the faster movement of coal rakes to Paradip and Damra ports, thereby decongesting the rail network and this will also reduce transportation costs considerably. Shipping routes are much cheaper compared to the rail network and improve coal availability in the southern and western regions of the country.