Jul 30, 2014

'Work on 3 crucial rail links for coal to be over by Dec 2016'

Three crucial rail link projects that will help evacuate and deliver over 200 million tonnes of coal from mines in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha are likely to be completed by December 2016, a senior government official said. 

The three rail corridors, which include Tori-Shivpuri- Kathotia in North Karanpura in Jharkhand, Bhupdeopur-Korichhaapar to Mand Raigadh mines in Chhattisgarh and Barpali-Jharsuguda in IB Valley, Odisha, will be completed by December 2016, Additional Secretary and central project monitoring group (PMG) Chairman Anil Swarup told reporters on the sidelines of an event here today. 

"Rail linkage for any coal mining project is very crucial. 

These three projects, which were pending since a very long time for want of certain clearances, have now got the necessary approvals and we believe the construction work will be complete by December 2016," he said. 

The three rail links, once completed, would help transport over 200 million tonne of coal annually, which is very important at this stage especially when domestic coal production is only around 500 million tonne, he said. 

The coal ministry had approached the PMG last year for getting the three rail projects off the ground claiming the coal availability problem in the country would get resolved once these links are in place. 

Swarup said the PMG has received applications for 449 stalled projects, worth over Rs 1,000 crore each, entailing an investment of Rs 22 lakh crore. 

"Out of these 449, nearly 163 projects worth an investment of over Rs 5.7 lakh crore have been cleared," he said. 

The PMG has also initiated a process to digitise all applications for clearances relating to forest, environment, exploration of mining and coal by March 2015. 

"We have already digitised the process for forest clearances for industry and infrastructure projects from July 15. This will be followed by online environmental approvals from September 1 and clearances for exploration of mines from November 1. 

"For coal-related clearances, all applications could be uploaded on the web by the end of the financial year," Swarup said. 

State governments are also setting up project monitoring groups that will monitor projects between Rs 100 crore and Rs 1,000 crore. So far 13 states including Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttrakhand, Kerala, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Karnataka, among others, have set up PMGs.

Manipur to have tallest rail bridge

Picture used for representational purpose. (photo: PTI/File)

Guwahati: Construction of the world’s tallest railway bridge from the point of pillar height has begun in Manipur by the Northeast Frontier Railway Construction Organisation.

The proposed 141 metres-bridge is slated to become the tallest in the world from the point of pillar height surpassing the existing tallest of Mala-Rijeka viaduct on Belgrade-Bar railway line in Europe where the height of pillars is 139 metre.

The bridge in Manipur is part of the 111-km-long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway line to connect the capital of Manipur with the broad gauge network of the country, an N-F Railway spokesperson said.
Source..deccan chronicle

Jobs will flow as timber brings life to rail terminal

Australia’s leading forestry and logistics service providers are working together on a three-year deal for the export of approximately 175,000 tonnes of timber per annum from the Bathurst region.

PF Olsen Australia, the nation’s leading independent provider of forest management services, has engaged Asciano Limited subsidiaries Pacific National and C3 to handle and haul the containerised timber from Bathurst to Port Botany in NSW.

The logs will then be shipped to China, where demand for Australian timber continues to grow. 

PF Olsen Australia’s managing director Pat Groenhout said between 30 and 35 jobs will be secured for the region, along with $70 million in revenue over the next three years. 

He said the project will not only provide employment growth in the Bathurst area, but open market opportunities for the region’s private plantation owners. 

The operation will be based at the Bathurst Regional Intermodal Terminal in Lee Street, Kelso. The facility, with its rail spur, has stood empty and unused for a number of years. 

“It is a great space and I think it is fabulous it is able to be used again,” Mr Groenhout said. 

He said the first train will leave the yard on August 4, and the first ship will sail to China on August 10.

The first shipment of logs is expected to arrive in China within two months.

“It is very exciting for us to be working with Asciano because they are so professional,” Mr Groenhout said. 

The logs leaving Bathurst have been harvested from 4000 hectares of private forest in the Oberon and Bathurst area. PF Olsen manages a total of 165,000 hectares of forests and nearly one million tonnes of log harvesting for clients in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia.

Mr Groenhout said the company is looking at securing 20 jobs in forest management, harvesting and hauling in the Bathurst and Oberon area. PF Olsen will also be opening an office in Bathurst in the near future.

C3 will provide log handling services in Bathurst using locally based employees, and Pacific National will provide rail haulage services to Port Botany three times a week. 

Mr Groenhout said PF Olsen has spent the past couple of years getting to this point, and hopes it will eventually result in opportunities to buy logs from other growers in the region.

“It is challenging for these small operators to sell all their timber domestically,” Mr Groenhout said. 

He explained that the logs would be harvested and measured in the forest and trucked to the intermodal terminal, where they will be unloaded, re-measured, and separated into grades. 

They will then be fumigated and packed into shipping containers before being loaded onto trains and transported to Port Botany. 

Each train will carry 42 containers filled with logs.
Source..western advocate

Centre has no say in Telangana state Metro

Hyderabad Metro Rail project   (Photo: DC archives)Hyderabad Metro Rail project (Photo: DC archives)

Hyderabad: Hyderabad Metro Rail officials have denied reports that claimed that the Centre was involved in decision-making in the ongoing city metro rail project, maintaining that all instructions on works come from the government of Telangana state.

“Those projects, which are worth more than Rs 1,000 crore, require us to furnish details to various departments within the Central administration.

This is a normal procedure. There have been no remarks attached to the information supplied. It’s just an account of what is happening in the state,” a senior official explained.

Also, the re-alignment of the metro project near heritage structures continues to remain a contentious issue. The engineers from Hyderabad Metro Rail are currently studying various options, but so far, have not submitted any proposals to the TS government. And because of this, the contractor Larsen and Toubro (L&T) is continuing with the works according to the original proposal.

A senior Hyderabad Metro Rail official explained, “Until we get an official communication from the principal secretary, we will have to carry forward the project as it was originally planned. Till then, no changes can be considered.”
Source..western advocate

Shipping Ministry to set up new co to develop port rail projects

The 12 major ports will have equity stake in the new firm

As part of its initiative to fast-track port connectivity, the Shipping Ministry proposes to incorporate a new company to undertake rail projects at all Government ports.

The new entity, which will have equity participation from the 12 Major Ports, is expected to implement all new rail projects and also to undertake the existing rail line operations with in the port area, a Government official said.

Nitin Gadkari, Union Shipping Minister, discussed the Ministry’s proposal with head of government ports at a meeting in Mumbai on Monday. The proposed company will have an initial authorised capital and of ₹100 crore. The official, however, said the proposal is at an initial stage and the details are yet to be worked out.

Currently, rail projects at ports are implemented by special purpose vehicles created by individual ports with the support of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. However, projects often get delayed under this model.

Ports like Mumbai and Kolkata operate their own rail lines within the port area. These ports own locos and maintain the rail lines themselves. Mumbai port railway handles around four million of tonnes of cargo a year. The proposed port rail infrastructure company is expected to take over all the railway operations with in the port.

Congestion problem

Rail and road connectivity is a major problem at several ports for movement of cargo from and to ports. Delay in evacuation of imported cargo creates congestion at most ports.

Rail Budget for the current year had indicated plans to implement new projects through public private participation.

Gadkari, who reviewed the Major Ports’ performance, (his first such exercise after taking over as Shipping Minister) has asked chairmen of ports to ensure timely implementation of projects. He assured them the freedom to take independent decisions within the powers under the Major Ports Act.

However, he is said to have given a clear message that in his scheme of things there will be no place for non-performers.

The Minister wants the port cargo capacity in the country to be doubled in the next five years from 800 million tonnes to 1,600 million tonnes.

The capacity creation at major ports has been tardy at Major Ports in the past few years due to a variety of reasons.
Source..the hindu business line





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