Saturday, May 21, 2022

Coal shortage: Railways deploys additional rakes to transport coal to power plants

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  • In April, the Railways has taken many steps to prioritise the loading of coal to the power sector which has led to increase in the supply of coal of more than 10 percent within one week's time
  • Minister for Power RK Singh and Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw held a meeting on Monday to discuss short-term and long-term strategies for dealing with increasing power demand

New Delhi: To ensure a swift supply across power plants in the backdrop of a coal shortage, additional trains and rakes have been allotted by the Railways to augment the transportation of coal through its network, said the government on Monday. Indian Railways has ramped up coal transportation resulting in 32 percent more coal freight loading between September 2021 to March 2022. There has also been an increase in 10 percent freight, by efficiently mobilising resources after April 2022.

During the year 2021-22, Indian Railways has augmented the transportation of coal through Railways by a record 111 Million Tonnes and loaded a record 653 Million Tonnes of coal as compared to 542 Million Tonnes in the previous year, ie, a growth of 20.4 percent, said the Ministry of Railways.

Further during the period September 2021 to March 2022 loading of coal to the power sector was augmented by 32 percent in just two quarters, it added.

Coal supply to power sector up by 10% within a week: Railways

In April, the Railways has taken many steps to prioritise the loading of coal to the power sector which has led to increase in the supply of coal of more than 10 percent within one week's time, said the government.

This improvement has been possible due to various measures undertaken by Indian Railways some of which are listed below:

  • The movement of Coal trains have been prioritized and each and every train is being intensively monitored during the entire cycle from Loading to movement and finally unloading.
  • Through this prioritization and monitoring the Transit time of coal trains to long-distance Power has been reduced significantly by 12-36% for critical power plants.
  • Indian Railways has prioritized the movement of coal to long-distance Powerhouses as well which is reflected in the fact that the average lead of coal trains has increased by 7 % in the last 5 days as compared to the average leads of 1st to 10th April.
  • Despite this increase in the average lead of coal trains the time taken between two successive loading of the same rake for these stocks has been reduced by 10 percent.

With these operational innovations, Indian Railways has augmented the supply of coal trains to powerhouses as well as has loaded more coal rakes on a sustained basis.

Power Minister holds meeting with Railways Minister

Minister for Power RK Singh and Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw held a meeting on Monday to discuss short-term and long-term strategies for dealing with increasing power demand. During the meeting, Singh urged all stakeholders at the Centre and the state level to work hand-in-hand for unhindered power supply. He urged power gencos to own freight rakes under the scheme of the Ministry of Railways to deal with logistic constraints in coal supply. Issues discussed included increasing operational efficiency for loading and unloading of coal, increasing percentage of rakes allotment for Power sector, and other logistics issues. One of the major issues hindering the transportation of coal to power plants is the availability of coal rakes.

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