Power Minister R.K Singh and Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Discussed Coal and Power Situation

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Amid the heatwave and expectation of rising power demand, Union Power Minister R.K Singh and Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw held a meeting here on Monday to discuss short term and long term strategies for dealing with the situation.

Power Secretary Alok Kumar, Coal Secretary A.K Jain and senior officials from Ministries of Power, Coal, and Railways were also present, while representatives from coal and power PSUs and Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra joined virtually.

Singh urged all stakeholders at the Centre and state level to work hand in hand for unhindered power supply. He urged the power gencos to own freight rakes under the Railways Ministry scheme to deal with logistic constraints in coal supply. Issues discussed included increasing operational efficiency for loading and unloading of coal, increasing percentage of rakes allotment for power sector, and other logistics issues.

The meeting comes in wake of reports that coal stock position at the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) supervised 173 power plants was lower than the prescribed level.

Media reports have suggested that coal inventories had dipped to the lowest since 2014 at the beginning of the financial year to nine days as against the Centre’s mandated 24 days’ worth of stocks.

The CEA daily coal report said last week that coal stock at 81 out of the 150 government owned power plants is low, on the other, the power demand has increased from 106.6 billion units (BU) in 2019 to 124.2 BU in 2021 to 132 BU in 2022.

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