The Coal Ministry, on Tuesday, said it was presently evaluating bids for selection of a consultant to unshackle and modernise state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) mines.

``In order to infuse world class technology and modernise CIL, it had been decided to appoint a consultant of International standings for the modernisation of its mines. The process for evaluating the bids is still under way,’’ Coal Ministry said in a statement here.

An expression of interest (EoI) was earlier floated for inviting proposals from international consultancy firms for technology development and modernisation of mines of CIL. The consultant would assess the requirements of technology and infrastructure development for mine planning and design and construction with regard to projected coal production plans for 12th, 13th and 14th Five Year Plans, the Ministry has stated.

In order to give a big push to coal production in the country, the Coal Ministry said the Mine-Developer-Operator (MDO) mode of operation to enhance the production capacities of mines of CIL had been initiated in seven projects till date. In order to overcome the problem of slow coal evacuation from its three major coalfields - North Karanpura–Auranga of CCL, Mand Raigarh–Korba of SECL and Ib Valley of MCL. CIL has lined up an investment of Rs. 7045 crore in three major railway infrastructure facilities namely Tori-Shivpur (Kathotia), Mand-Raigarh- Korba and Gopalpur- Manoharpur in these coalfields.

The statement said these rail links together shall stretch to about 435 Km and were expected to handle 150 million tonnes (MT) by the end of 12th Plan period. CIL has identified 126 new projects to take up with an estimated capacity of 438.04 MT during the 12th Plan period. Out of these, 60 projects are likely to contribute about 88 MT during the terminal year of 12th Plan (2016-17).

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