Indian Railways during the April-June period had transported domestic and imported coal to power plants through 432 rakes per day on an average, said the Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi.

“During Q1FY23, Indian Railways has transported on an average 434 rakes per day (Domestic + Imported) to the power sector which is about 31 per cent more than the corresponding period of the last year,” Joshi said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

The Minister informed the House that Coal India (CIL) dispatched 152.49 million tonnes (MT) of coal to Power Sector in Q1FY23 surpassing all the previous highs of the same period and achieving a growth of 19 per cent over last year’s same period.

“CIL has started building stocks at its railway sidings along with good shed and private washery sidings and ports (CIL sidings: 1.82 mt; Good Shed: 1.45 mt; Pvt. Washery: 0.95 mt and Port: 1.39 mt; Total: 5.61 mt) to facilitate adequate supply for the power sector,” he added.

As per Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the coal stock at the power plants has improved from the level of 25.6 mt as on March 31, 2022 to 28.34 mt on July 14.

Coal receipt

During April-June of FY23, the receipt of domestic coal at the power plants increased to 189 mt from 158.9 mt during the same period last year.

Further, against the Q1FY23 consumption of about 204.3 mt, the total coal receipt during the period was 205.5 mt, which includes 16.5 mt of imported coal.

The Ministry of Power through a letter on April 28, 2022 advised power plants to import about 61 mt coal for blending purposes during the 2022-23 financial year.

Review of coal stocks

To address the issues of coal supplies to power sector, an Inter-Ministerial Sub Group comprising of representatives from Ministries of Power, Coal, Railways, CEA, CIL and SCCL meet regularly to take various operational decisions to enhance supplies to thermal power plants as well as for meeting any contingent situations, including to alleviate critical coal stock position in power plants.

Besides, an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) has been constituted comprising of Chairman, Railway Board, Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Secretary, Ministry of Power to monitor augmentation of coal supply and power generation capacity.