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Power And Railway Ministers Hold Meeting To Discuss Ways To Tackle Energy Crisis

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Power And Railway Ministers Hold Meeting To Discuss Ways To Tackle Energy Crisis
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Power and Railway ministers held discussions today to tackle energy crisis

Amid threats of a rising energy crisis due to lack of coal supply to power plants, Power Minister R K Singh and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw today held deliberations to work out short term as well long term strategies to tackle the growing power demand.

Representatives from Coal India and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) as well as officials from states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra – which are facing shortage of coal supply amid rising power demand – were also present in the meeting.

According to official sources, during the meeting, Mr Singh urged all stakeholders to work unitedly to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

Power generation companies were directed to own freight rakes under the railway ministry scheme to address logistic constraints in coal supply.

Issues discussed during the meeting included increasing operational efficiency for loading and unloading of coal and increasing percentage of rakes allotment for power sector.

Power Secretary Alok Kumar and Coal Secretary A K Jain were also present in the meeting.

The meeting was called at a time when power demand has peaked due to extreme heat wave conditions prevailing across the country, with the abovementioned states bearing the maximum brunt.

However due to logistical issues which are leading to delay in supply of coal to thermal power plants, both the power and railway ministers had to meet to address the concerns. 

Even as both the ministers brainstormed over resolving the matter, Indian Railways during the day issued a statement saying that in April 2022 , it has taken many steps to prioritise the loading of coal to power sector which has led to increase in supply of coal of more than 10 per cent within a week’s time.

“To ensure swift supply of coal across power plants, additional trains and rakes by Indian Railways have been initiated to augment transportation of coal through its network. Indian Railways has ramped up the coal transportation resulting in 32 per cent more coal freight loading between September 2021 – March 2022. There has also been an increase in 10 per cent freight, by efficiently mobilising resources after April 2022,” the statement said.

Railways also said that in 2021-22, a record 111 million tonnes of coal was transported by it.

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