State-owned Coal India today said it has asked power plants not to restrict intake of coal during monsoon when electricity demand drops usually.
"Coal India (CIL) has urged power stations not to restrict intake of coal during monsoon period when power generation demand drops, but to use this period as an opportunity to build stocks to cope up with subsequent increase in generation demand," the company said in a statement.
Most of thermal power stations faced crisis situation last year as they had chosen to restrict intake of coal due to subdued power generation demand during 2016-17 and started consuming the inventory to cope with the spurt in demand for power in 2017-18.
"The situation could have been averted had they realised inherent logistics constraints for rushing coal to power plants widely dispersed across the country at short notices and maintained safe stocks as per the norms prescribed by CEA," it said.
Coal India and Indian Railways are working in synergy to help ensure that power plants have enough coal.
An action plan has been drawn to prioritise coal supplies to power stations lest they turn critical due to non-availability of coal.
"Outcome of the coordinated efforts of CIL and Railways gets reflected in CEA report which indicates reduction in the number of critical power stations from 30 as on April 1, 2018 to 13 on July 2, 2018," it said.
Growth in despatch of coal to power sector has helped coal based generation to achieve positive growth of 5.6 per cent during the first quarter of 2018-19 thereby offsetting the negative growth in generation from other sources.
CIL despatched 122.84 million tonnes (MT) of coal to the power sector during the first quarter as compared to despatch of 106.46 MT in same period last fiscal.
The coal requirement as indicated by power ministry is 1.41 million tonnes per day.
However, CIL despatched 1.35 Million tonnes of coal per day during April-June 2018.
Bot power and coal ministries have taken initiatives to convince the power producers in the vicinity of the coalfields to lift more coal by road and captive modes of transportation, so that the railway rakes presently in use for these power stations can be utilised for the long distance power stations.
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