Companies

Bid to check coal loss in transit

Coal India Limited (CIL) has decided to install global positioning system (GPS) in all its trucks from early next year to check pilferage of coal during transportation. The company proposes to put the system in place in a phased manner starting early next month. The Maharatna company has 81 mining areas and produces around 81.1 per cent of India's overall coal production. According to experts, the implementation of GPS will help in checking pilferage of coal during its movement from mine to the point of loading.

Officials said CIL was selling coal on ‘free on rail' (FOR) basis and the transportation of coal from the mine face to the point of loading is the responsibility of CIL. So, it has been decided to set up a monitoring system for movements of coal. It is estimated that at least a quarter of CIL's 431-million tonne production is lost in transit.

Acute shortage

India faces an acute shortage of coal — it has 256 billion tonnes of reserves, of which around 455 million tonnes is mined every year. Around 100 million tonnes is imported.

According to Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, the cooperation of the States would be critical in curbing theft. “No one can tell how much coal is diverted, but yes, it happens. In CIL, it happens at an individual level. The biggest thing in fighting corruption is the cooperation from State governments. Until the State government and the police cooperate, how can we fight corruption,” he asks?

Officials said this was not the first time CIL was seeking to track shipments to check theft. It had earlier planned a so-called operator-independent truck despatch system to enhance the operational efficiency of large opencast mines for movement of coal by road.

This scheme was never implemented. “Once the GPS system is installed, any diversion would be immediately known. GPS will also be installed at rail sidings. Pilferage of coal happens mostly when transportation routes are changed to offload coal,” an official said.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 10:39:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/companies/bid-to-check-coal-loss-in-transit/article2729449.ece

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