Railways give record rakes for coal

Target is to achieve a monthly average of 250 rakes per day to the power sector
In a relief to the power sector, the Indian Railways provided around 261 rakes every day for shipping coal last week.

The government is claiming that with the efforts of the ministries of power, railways, and coal, the number of super-critical and critical power plants has come down to 15, compared to about 30 in September.

“The supply to the coal sector has improved with the railways providing even about 261 rakes per day last week. In November, we provided 240 rakes per day for Coal India, against 217 committed to the power sector,” said a senior railway official. 

According to the Central Electricity Authority data, the average number of days of coal stock left at power units was seven as of November 30. It also states that there are 10 super-critical power plants, with a stock of fewer than four days, and five critical ones with a stock of less than seven days. 

The railway data shows that the average number of rakes supplied to the power sector per day was 223 in October and 213 in September.

Power demand in the winter peaks due to heating and the use of irrigation pumps. Of the 1,050 railways rakes, around 403 go to the coal sector, and the rest is shared by customers in the iron ore, cement, and fertiliser sectors. 

“There is an improved synergy between the rail, coal, and power sectors. We are giving priority to coal transportation now. Our target is to achieve a monthly average of 250 rakes per day to the power sector. The overall supply to the coal sector has improved from 380 a day last year to 403 a day so far,” he added. 

At the coalface

136,375 Mw
Total capacity 

21 days
Stock required 

7 days
Average stock available 
(as on November 30, 2017) 

No. of plants with critical stock (<7 days)

No. of plants with supercritical stock (<4 days)

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