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Friday, October 22, 2021

Railways braces to transport coal to power plants round the clock

Instructions have gone out to the principal chief operations managers of all zonal railways to man operations control rooms round the clock and produce hourly bulletins for the ministry and the general managers.

Written by Avishek G Dastidar | New Delhi |
Updated: October 12, 2021 7:44:04 am
The number of coal rakes loaded per day rose to around 440-450 on Monday from about 430 at the time when the shortage came to light. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Amidst a reported shortage of coal at thermal power projects, Indian Railways has braced for transporting coal round the clock to power plants. The national transporter is internally treating the shortage as an “emergency”. Instructions have gone out to the principal chief operations managers of all zonal railways to man operations control rooms round the clock and produce hourly bulletins for the ministry and the general managers.

Meanwhile, the number of coal rakes loaded per day rose to around 440-450 on Monday from about 430 at the time when the shortage came to light. On Monday 1.77 million tonnes of coal were moved, up from 1.48 million tonnes on the same day last year. Sources said that even if the demand reaches around 500 rakes a day, the transporter is geared up to handle it comfortably.

A large number of rakes of coal are coming from coal fields in the eastern part of the country and such areas serviced by the East Central Railway among others, officials said.

In a huddle with the Power and Coal Ministries, Railways has assured that carrying capacity was not a constraint for the national transporter and that it was ready to transport as much coal to power houses as required.

“The situation will not get back to normal in a day or two and we are fully geared up to meet the demand for coal transportation,” said a senior ministry official.

Along with loading and unloading, the movement of empty rakes is also being strictly monitored and sources said that the wait is for November, the demand for power traditionally sees a dip.

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