Dhanbad Division-A Historical Perspective
Dhanbad is a premier coal loading division of Indian Railways. The first colliery line on this division was laid in 1894 and the Grand Chord section was opened in 1906. The division was initially created as a transportation sub-division of Asansol division in 1946. A full-fledged division became operational in 1963.
Dhanbad division was initially one of the five divisions of the Eastern Railway but after the formation of ‘East Central Railway’ on 1stOctober, 2002, Dhanbad division became part of East Central Railway along with four other divisions i.e. Mughalsarai, Danapur, Sonepur and Samastipur with headquarter at Hajipur.
Dhanbad division primarily loads coal. Most of the coal is carried to ‘Up’ country power houses located in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and U.P. Coal is also loaded for industries (non-core) located in Northern India.Coal also moves for ‘Down’ country destinations viz. power houses located in West Bengal. Other commodities loaded on the division are bauxite from Tori, Richughuta and Meralgram for Hindalco plant at Renukoot, lime stone/dolomite from Bhavnathpur for Bokaro steel plant and cement from ACC-Sindri and Lemos-Khalari.
Dhanbad isperhaps one of the very few divisions of Indian Railway, which loads indigenous coking coal and washed coal for steel plants in Durgapur, Burnpur and Tatanagar etc.
The territorial jurisdiction of the division covers Pradhankhunta(incl.)-Manpur(excl.), Gomoh-Barkakana-Garwa Road-Chopan, Chopan-Singrauli-Mahadiya, Karaila Road-Shaktinagar, Dhanbad-Sindri town, Dhanbad-Patherdih & Dhanbad-Chandrapura sections.It deals with traffic on two important routes namely G.C.(Grand Chord) section from Pradhankhunta to Manpur & the CIC (Central Indian Coalfields) section from Gomoh-Barkakana-Garwa Road.
The division covers vast geographical area involving 4 states i.e., Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and 13 districts - Dhanbad, Giridih, Hazaribagh, Koderma, Nawada, Gaya, Bokaro, Ranchi, Latehar, Palamau, Garwa, Sidhi & Sonebhadra.
The Division covers 3 distinct coal mining areas viz., the Jharia Coalfield serving primarily Bharat Coking Coal Limited, Karanpura area serving primarily Central Coalfields Ltd., and the Singrauli Coalfields of the Northern Coalfield Ltd.
The Parasnath Jain temple which finds its mention in the world tourists Pilgrim destination was built in 1867 and is dedicated to Sheetalnathji, the 10thof the 24 tirthankaras, is situated in this division.Parasnath, the 23rdthirthankara, attained ‘NIRVANA’ here some 100 years after his birth.
The section to be inspectedi.e. Singrauli-Garwa Road section is important from the view that Singrauli is emerging as India’s energy capital.Singrauli is coming up as a major power feeder to the national grid and for that large companies producing power have come up or is coming up to join the league like Reliance Power Limited (3960 MW Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project), NTPC Limited (3 Power Plant with combined generation capacity of 9760 MW), Coal India Limited ( Through its subsidiary NCL annual production 80 Million MT), Essar Power Limited (1 Power Plant of 1200 MW) DB Power Limited (1 Power Plant of 1320 MW), Renusagar Power Plant ( 800 MW), Anpara Power Plants (Combined capacity of 3830 MW), Obra Thermal Power (1300 MW), Rihand Hydro Power (300 MW), Hindalco Industries Limited (20K MT of Aluminum and 40k MT of Alumina per annum).
With the coming up of different industries in this section, the economic activity has increased and therefore, the transport needs. This section is connecting the border of two states i.e. Uttar Pradesh & Madhya Pradesh in between Kuldil Road and Mirchadhuri. The section which is 200.02 Km. Long has a total of 57.63 Km. Curve length and 55.85 Km. Gradient length of >1:200 and cutting length of 66.12 Km.There are 57 major bridges in the section. The section is a single line section with semaphore signalling and Std.-I Electro-Mechanical Interlocking between Shaktinagar-Krishnashilla-Anpara-Karaila Road, which is significant part of coal loading sectioni.e., Shaktinagar-Karaila Road-Singrauli.