Indian Railways have decided to purchase one lakh wagons for swift transportation of coal to power plants across the country. The move will ensure the availability of coal to meet the projected demand by the power sector in the upcoming summer months. The railways have also increased their network in the coal mining areas.
In a written reply to Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Union Minister of Power RK Singh said, “an Inter-Ministerial Sub Group comprising representatives from the Ministries of Power, Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Railways, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Coal India Limited (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) meet regularly to take various operational decisions to enhance the supply of coal to thermal power plants as well as for meeting any contingent situations relating to Power Sector including to alleviate critical coal stock position in power plants.”
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Details of coal transported to the power sector:-
In the financial year 2017-18, the railways transported 555.20 million tonnes (MT) to the power sector. While in FY 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2021-22, it supplied 605.84 MT, 586.87 MT, 541.82 MT, and 652.80 MT respectively.
In FY 2022-23, the national transporter has set the target to commission 4,500 km of new lines, the majority of which is on coal-supplying routes. It is also investing around one lakh crore from more than 100 projects.
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It also plans to make an Energy Corridor, for the smooth movement of coal rakes. During the period from April 2022 to January 2023, the railways have inducted 7,692 BOXNHL and 1,052 BOBRN wagons for coal transportation.
Last year, the railways have ramped up coal transportation by putting in additional trains and rakes. During 2021-22 fiscal, the coal supply through Railways has witnessed a record 111 Million tonnes (MT).