- Both coal companies and Railways have envisaged to jointly ensure coal supply
- The development comes amid reports of a shortage of coal supplies at power plants
- Railways started procurement of over 100,000 wagons which will further improve wagon availability
Amid reports of a shortage of coal supplies at power plants, Railway Ministry on Wednesday said it has constantly ramped up coal loading for powerhouses across the country. The Railways is fully committed to lifting all the domestic coal that is brought to sidings/ good sheds by the coal companies and imported coal brought to port by the power generating companies, the Ministry said in a statement. In May 2022, the availability of rakes for the power sector increased to an average of 472 rakes per day. Both coal companies and Railways have envisaged to jointly ensure per day coal loading of 415 rakes of domestic coal and 30 rakes of imported coal to the power sector.
'In the current month, loading of domestic coal for power house has been average of 409 rakes per day," the statement said. There has been an issue of frequent strike in coal-bearing areas of Odisha which has impacted coal evacuation, especially in Talcher area. However, railways have kept 60 surplus empty rakes at a pan-India level to maximise coal loading for the power sector, the ministry said. The statement said various operational efficiency measures have been taken to expedite the evacuation of coal rakes. "Coaching trains have been cancelled across India to allow faster movement of coal rakes and easing of congested sections."
The importance of the seamless and timely movement of coal rakes to various power plants has been emphasised. Detention of coal rakes for each activity at loading/unloading points and en-route movement are being monitored by divisional team at field level, the ministry said. It said that running of long hauls and convoy rakes in congested routes have been augmented. Additional 100 rakes will be mobilised for coal loading in the current financial year which would further improve the rake availability for the power sector, the statement said. Further, to cater to future demand for coal, the Railways has already started the procurement of more than 100,000 wagons which will further improve wagon availability.