Railways chokes on coal short supply

Our Bureau | Updated on March 12, 2018

Coal Ministry mandarins recently summoned senior officials of State-owned coal companies and reportedly urged them to pull up their socks or face consequences. The reason: a large number of power houses in the country are critically short of coal and therefore close to shutting down. But then it is not merely the power companies that face crisis due to the coal shortage; the Indian Railways too has been hit.

Coal accounts for about 45 per cent of the traffic of Indian Railways. The fall in supply of coal has hit hard the major coal-loading zonal railways, which are also major freight loading railways. Till recently, nearly one-third of Indian Railways' wagon fleet was idling due to non-availability of traffic, particularly coal. October to March is the busy season when Indian Railways makes up for the loss in loading during the monsoon months. The railway authorities want the coal availability situation to improve immediately. Otherwise, the Railways will find it hard to achieve the traffic target of 993 million tonnes, including 458 mt of coal this fiscal.

Published on October 23, 2011

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