Both coal companies and the railways have jointly ensured per day coal loading of 415 rakes of domestic coal and 30 rakes of imported coal to the power sector.
The coal loading for power houses is constantly being ramped up by Indian Railways as per the demand. The national transporter is fully committed to lift 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.
In May this year, the availability of rakes for the power sector had an upsurge with an average of 472 rakes per day. Both coal companies and the railways have jointly ensured per day coal loading of 415 rakes of domestic coal and 30 rakes of imported coal to the power sector.
According to the railways data, in the current month, loading of domestic coal for power houses has been an average of 409 rakes per day.
While 21,824 wagons were deployed to carry coal per day in 2021, 26,386 wagons are being used for coal transportation in a day this year.
Last year during April to 10 May, the railways carried 70 metric tonne (MT) of coal while it carried 78.62 MT during the same period this year, an increase of 15 per cent.
There has been an issue of frequent strikes in coal bearing areas of Odisha which has impacted coal evacuation especially in Talcher area. However, the railways have kept 60 surplus empty rakes at pan-India level to maximise coal loading for the power sector.
Various operational efficiency measures have been taken to expedite evacuation of coal rakes. Coaching trains have been cancelled across India to allow faster movement of coal rakes and easing out congested sections.
Importance of 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 a divisional team at field level.
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. 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.