Power producers want SECL to step up coal supply through rail wagons

New Delhi, Jun 02 (PTI):
Power generating companies have asked state-run Coal India to increase the supply of the dry fuel from Korba area in Chhattisgarh through rail wagons to help them reduce transportation cost as well as tariffs for end-consumers.
Korba region serves 20 per cent of the domestic coal supply but Coal India-arm South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) is able to meet only 55 per cent of its demand from the region through rail, according to Association of Power Producers (APP).
The APP in a letter to Coal India chief Anil Kumar Jha mentioned that power producers are incurring around 25 per cent higher costs to move coal by road as against rail mode.
Against a demand of 45 rakes per day, Korba area is currently loading only 25 rakes per day, the APP said. Due to lack of supply through railways, power producers are compelled to bank on inefficient and expensive truck transportation for coal procurement. One rake can load 4,000 tons of coal, which means producers have to ply 135 trucks carrying 30 tons each.
The SECL controls Chhattisgarh Korba coal field that produces close to 130 million tonnes of coal that can fire 32,000 MW of electricity generation capacity. India has close to 200GW of power generation capacity dependent on coal that often struggles to procure the desired quality and quantity of fuel in a time-bound manner.
The APP has said that electricity consumers are compelled to pay higher tariffs since this cost burden is passed on to them.
“You may appreciate that the road mode is the least efficient mode of transportation and also a costlier option. The impact of such higher cost of coal supply would have to be borne by the end consumers of electricity. In the spirit of the government’s decision to ensure efficient transportation of coal, we request your good office to increase dispatches by Rail Mode from Gevra Mines of Korba area, the APP said in a letter to Coal India CMD Anil Kumar Jha.
The letter is also sent to SECL CMD AP Panda and Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav.
Last year in December, the Ministry of Coal and Coal India announced to take requisite steps to improve infrastructure at coal mines to ensure 100 per cent supply of coal to power plants through the rail mode.

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