Iron Ore Policy, 2021

The Ministry of Railways recently approved a new Iron Ore Policy. The policy is to come into effect on February 10, 2021. The Iron Ore Policy governs the allocation of rakes and transportation of iron-ore.

About Iron Ore Policy

  • The rake allotment system module is to be updated by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS).
  • The policy will provide high priority to the movement of iron-ore for domestic manufacturing activity. Within the domestic movement, higher priority is to be provided to steel, sponge iron, pig iron, pellet or sinter plant owning customers with private sliding at loading and unloading ends. These customers will be followed by those with private sliding of their own and relying on public goods sheds.
  • The policy has categorized movement of iron ore based on the availability of railway infrastructure developed by customers. Also, the nature of movement will be in such a way to maximize iron-ore movement by rail.

Iron Ore and Indian Railways

Iron ore is the second most important stream of traffic of Indian Railways. Iron ore and steel together account for more than 17% of total freight loading of Indian Railways (2019-20 data). The total freight loading of Indian Railways is 1,210 tonnes. Of this, 153.35 million tonnes are of iron ore and 53.81 million tonnes are of steel.

Centre for Railway Information System

The Centre for Railway Information System designs, develops, implements and maintains the information system of Indian Railways. It was established in 1986. The major projects of CRIS are computerization of freight operations, passenger reservation system, NGeT (Next Generation e-ticketing), computerization of Indian Railways Unreserved ticketing system, national train enquiry system, rail budget compilation system, etc.

Iron Ore in India

The total recoverable reserves of iron ore in India are 9,602 million tonnes of hematite and 3,408 million tonnes of magnetite. The principal states producing iron ore in India are Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.

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