However, sources within CIL said the company is yet to get any official information in this regard. One of the major advantages for the company, industry experts said, is that the Sonnagar to Dankuni stretch would help the company in faster evacuation of coal from its blocks in Jharkhand and Odisha. It will also help in linking the planned rail corridors implemented in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) model with the corridor.
The major projects implemented under the SPV include a 47-km stretch at Shivpur-Kathautia (Jharkhand), 136 km from Kharsia to Korichhapar (Chhattisgarh), 122 km from Gevra Road to Pendra, another 14 km in Chhattisgarh, and the Angul-Balram railway link in Odisha. This includes 84 projects costing around Rs 98,977 crore to boost coal traffic, of which 14 are being taken on a priority basis.
According to a CIL official, the PSU is already investing in three dedicated coal corridors; parts of which have already been completed. It is procuring its own rakes to ferry coal.
The investment may also help the company once its proposed coal to liquid project is on stream in West Bengal's Dankuni Coal Complex. For the state governments, too, the PPP project may turn a game changer as it covers 196 km in Jharkhand and 203 km in West Bengal.
Interestingly, the plan to woo PSUs comes at a time when the progress of the Rs 81,400 crore Eastern and Western dedicated freight corridors covering a total of 3,360 km track is being monitored by the Prime Minister's Office. The project, to be completed by December 2021, (excluding the Sonnagar to Dankuni stretch) is one of the priorities of the Narendra Modi government.