The country’s largest coal miner, state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL), has joined hands with Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), an arm of Ministry of Railways, for frieght monitoring and data sharing.

CIL will get access to the Freight Operations Information System (FOIS) of Indian Railways, to help the coal miner monitor movement of coal rakes and coal despatch activity. CIL signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CRIS for the same.

FOIS is the management information system of the Indian Railways for its freight business which includes rake management and real time tracking.

“The first of its kind data sharing offers CIL a bouquet of benefits that helps it in rationalizing the entire coal supply matrix through rail mode. It provides precise details of loading, weighment and unloading details along with turnaround time of rakes,” CIL said in a statement.

The mining giant said the information would help minimise the instances of under loading and overloading of rakes and untangles the knots benefitting CIL, Railways and consumers.

“Importantly, the resultant relevant information eases the way for faster billing and bill monitoring process replacing the manual entry of railway receipts with instantaneous online transfer,” said the company.

Data sets of CRIS would provide CIL information on sanctioned coal and rake programmes, rake demand, rake detention and diversion details which helps the coal companies plan their supplies.

CIL has also developed a portal which will help 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” CIL said.

As on February 20, CIL’s coal movement through rail mode from its own sidings, goods sheds and private washeries stood at 302.51 Million Tonnes, accounting for 61 per cent of the total off-take quantity.

The contract period of the MoU is one year with annual technical support.