With the reduction of freight charges, the Indian Railways has set aside an ambitious target of doubling the transportation of cement to 200Mt by 2011-12 from the current 100Mt. "Railways receive more than 100Mt traffic every year from the cement industry and we are targeting a loading of 200Mt from the cement industry in 2011-12," the Railway Minister Mr Lalu Prasad said on Tuesday while presenting the Railway Budget 2008-09 in Parliament.
Production of cement is expected to increase from 170Mt to 280Mt by 11th plan, he said adding, "there are more than 10 big clusters of cement production in the country". Mr Prasad said work is in progress on Nandyal-Yerraguntla, Jaggayyapet-Mallacheruvu and Vishnupuram-Janpahad new lines and would be completed within the stipulated time frame.
"The work of Daund-Gulbarga doubling and electrification of Pune-Guntakal line is proposed to be taken up to meet the demand of cement manufacturers in Wadi cluster," he said. The work of Bhanupali-Bilaspur-Beri new line in Himachal Pradesh has also been proposed in the budget. Mr Prasad said gauge conversion and extension of Bhuj-Nalia line would be taken up after obtaining necessary approvals. "More than 50 big terminals are being upgraded to increase their capacity, prominent among which are Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Ghaziabad etc," he added.