To strengthen India’s energy security and realize the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat by reducing the reliance on imported coal, the Ministry of Coal is actively working on development of the National Coal Logistic Plan, which includes First Mile Connectivity (FMC) through railway siding near coal mines. The Ministry of Coal has prepared plan to improve the mechanized coal transportation and loading system under FMC projects.
In an ongoing pursuit of sustainable development and environmental conservation, the concept of First Mile Connectivity has emerged as a game-changer. This groundbreaking approach is revolutionizing coal transportation creating a positive and lasting impact on the environment.
First Mile Connectivity eliminates road transportation of coal in mining areas by using conveyors or roads to the nearest railway siding. By transporting coal through a conveyor belt or road to the nearest railway siding, FMC reduces the number of trucks on the road and the associated environmental impacts such as air pollution, traffic congestion, and road damage, leading to a cleaner and healthier environment.
First Mile Connectivity (FMC) project at NCL
A total of 67 First Mile Connectivity (FMC) Projects (59 – CIL, 5- SCCL & 3 – NLCIL) with 885 MT capacity are being taken up in three phases to achieve capacity of ~1BT mechanized handling of coal. In line with the goal of PM Gatishakti, the Ministry of Coal has undertaken railway projects costing Rs. 26000 Cr to develop multimodal connectivity.
Furthermore, FMC contributes to the preservation of natural resources and green cover. By adopting First Mile Connectivity, coal mining operations become more economically viable in the long run. The implementation of technology-driven processes not only increases productivity but also reduces operational costs, contributing to the overall profitability of the coal sector. This shift towards sustainable transportation plays a pivotal role in mitigating climate change and improving air quality.
Ministry of Coal is coordinating with Ministry of Railways to enhance coal evacuation & distribution capabilities. At present, 13 Railway lines are being constructed in collaboration with the Ministry of Railways for expansion of coal distribution capabilities, which are at various stages of construction.
First Mile Connectivity of Coal transportation emerges as a ray of hope in building environmentally conscious societies combating transportation challenges and enhancing connectivity in the country. The impact of First Mile Connectivity on the environment is multi-faceted and far-reaching:
Reduced Carbon Footprint: Optimizing transport systems and reducing reliance on fossil fuel-powered vehicles will help to substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions, combatting climate change and mitigating its harmful effects.
Preserving Natural Environment: Establishing eco-friendly transportation networks encourages the protection of natural habitats and biodiversity, preserving delicate ecosystems for future generations.
Improving Public Health: Reduced air pollution and traffic congestion positively impact public health by lowering the prevalence of respiratory diseases and stress-related ailments.