State-owned Coal India on Monday said it has signed a pact with the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), a wing under the railways' ministry, for monitoring the movement of rakes laden with fossil fuel and coal despatch activity.
The first-of-its-kind data sharing offers Coal India Ltd (CIL) a bouquet of benefits that help it in rationalising the entire coal supply matrix through rail mode, according to the company. It will provide precise details of loading, weighing and unloading along with turnaround time of rakes, it added. Primarily, it is a handshake of freight operation information between the networks of CIL and CRIS regarding Coal India's rail movement of coal, the company said, adding that it also includes other logistics details.
"For faster and customised automated access to data, through Freight Operations Information System (FOIS) of Indian Railways, which would help Coal India ...monitor movement of coal-laden rakes and coal despatch activity, the company on Monday entered a Memorandum of Understanding with Centre for Railway Information Systems," the PSU said in a statement.
The information helps minimise the instances of under loading and overloading of rakes and untangles the knots benefitting CIL, railways and the consumers, it said.
Importantly, the resultant relevant information eases the way for faster billing and bill monitoring process replacing the manual entry of railway receipts with the instantaneous online transfer.
Another high point is the data sets shared by CRIS provide CIL information on sanctioned coal and rake programmes, rake demand, rake detention and diversion details which helps the coal companies plan their supplies, the company said.
CIL has developed a portal that helps in sharing the FOIS data with its subsidiary coal companies.
"The pact assumes greater significance at a time when CIL is pushing for increased rail evacuation and gradually reduce the road movement of the dry fuel. The real-time data helps us in better planning," the company said.
Up to February 20 of the ongoing fiscal, CIL's coal movement through rail mode from its own sidings, goods sheds and private washeries at 302.51 million tonnes (MT) accounted for 61 per cent of the total off-take quantity.
When dovetailed with the merry-go-round system, at 92.8 MT, which is a dedicated rail mode transport, the percentage expands even higher to 79 per cent.
"We intend to raise it further," the company said.
CIL and CRIS will collaborate for further improvement in data sharing with periodical reviews. The contract period of the MoU is one year with annual technical support.