Indian Railways has taken substantive measures in 2021-22 and the current month of April to augment the supply of coal to Power houses. During 2021-22, Indian Railways had augmented the transportation of coal through the national transporter by a record 111 Million Tonnes and loaded a record 653 MT of coal as compared to 542 MT coal in the previous year i.e., registering a growth of 20.4 per cent. Moreover, during the period September 2021 to March 2022, loading of coal to power sector was augmented by 32 per cent in just two quarters. In this current month of April, Indian Railways has taken various steps to prioritize the loading of coal to power sector which has led to an increase in the supply of coal of over 10 per cent within one week time. Following are the key measures undertaken by Indian Railways:
- The movement of coal trains has been prioritized by the national transporter and each train is being intensively monitored from loading to movement as well as unloading.
- Due to this prioritization and monitoring, the coal trains’ transit time to long distances has been reduced by 12% to 36% for critical power plants.
- The national transporter has also prioritized the movement of coal trains to long distance Power houses, which is reflected in the fact that the average lead of coal trains has increased by 7 per cent in the last five days as compared to the average leads of 1 April 2022 to 10 April 2022.
- Despite the 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 per cent.
- Indian Railways, with these operational innovations, has augmented the supply of coal trains to Power houses and has loaded more coal rakes on a sustained basis.