Amid criticism over the shortage of rakes used for transporting coal, the Indian Railways on May 11 said it is "fully committed" to lift all domestic coal and supplying them to the power generating companies.
The coal loading for power houses is "constantly being ramped up" as per the demand, the railways said.
All the domestic coal that is brought to sidings or good sheds by the coal companies, as well as the imported coal brought to port by the power generating companies, will be lifted by the railways, it added.
"Both coal companies and railways have envisaged to jointly ensure per day coal loading of 415 rakes of domestic coal and 30 rakes of imported coal to the power sector. In the current month, loading of domestic coal for power house has been average of 409 rakes per day," the statement further noted.
According to the Railways, its operations were adversely affected by "frequent strikes" in coal-bearing areas of Odisha. This has impacted coal evacuation, especially in Talcher area, it claimed. "However, railways have kept 60 surplus empty rakes at a pan-India level to maximise coal loading for power sector."
Various operational efficiency measures have also been taken to expedite evacuation of coal rakes, the statement added.
"Coaching trains have been cancelled across India to allow faster movement of coal rakes and easing out congested sections," the railways said, adding that the importance of seamless and timely movement of coal rakes to various power plants has been emphasised.
"Detention of coal rakes for each activity at loading/Unloading points and en-route movement are being monitored by divisional team at field level," it noted.The railways claimed that an additional 100 rakes will be mobilised for coal loading in current financial year which would further improve the rake availability for power sector. Further, to cater to future demand for coal, the process for procurement of more than 1,00,000 wagons has been initiated, it added.