The closure of Dhanbad-Chandrapura (DC) railway line of East Central Railway (ECR) will affect coal supply to thermal power stations of seven states.
Railway official said 20 pairs of coal loaded wagons go through this DC rail line everyday to supply coal to thermal power stations of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.
The Dhanbad-Chandrapur line is being closed from June 15 but no new rail sidings (where coal is loaded in rack) have been developed, so it will affect coal supply to thermal power stations, the sources said.
On June 10 the Railway Board on the recommendation of experts committee under Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS) declared the 34-km long Dhanbad-Chandrapur rail line of Dhanbad rail division unsafe due to raging mines fire and announced that the line would be closed from June 15.
The Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Dhanbad, Manoj Krishan Akhori said there are 12 railway siding points in the DC line.
"We are talking with management of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) to develop Kusunda-2 and Kusunda Khas siding from where rack loading of coal could be continued", Akhori said.
Both Kusunda-2 and Kusunda khas railway sidings are out of mines fire zone.
The railway official said coal of Dhori and Jharangdih mines would now be loaded at Keshargar and Bokaro rail sidings.
The DRM admitted that closure of DC line would also hit the financial health of Dhanbad railway Division.
Meanwhile, the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (P), Janata Dal (United) announced that they will protest during the visit of Coal Minister Piyush Goyal to Dhanbad on June 15.
Goyal is scheduled to visit for Dhanbad to attend the MODI Fest.