Railways have taken steps to purchase 1 Lakh wagons. There has also been an increase in the network of Railways in coal mining areas, Says Union Power & NRE Minister R. K. Singh

Scheme to Harness and Allocate Koyla Transparently in India (SHAKTI) Policy is a transparent way of allocating coal to the Power Plants including stressed power plants.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 07.03.2019 had considered the Note from the Ministry of Power on the recommendation of Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to examine the specific recommendation of High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) constituted to address the issues of Stressed Thermal Power Projects and has approved the amendments in the SHAKTI Policy issued by Ministry of Coal on 25.03.2019 and Para B(ii) (i), B(ii) (ii) and Para B(viii) (a) to (e) have been added to the SHAKTI Policy.

Further, coal linkages to Independent Power Producers are granted either by way of transparent auction mechanism under SHAKTI Policy or are earmarked to State(s) for granting the coal linkages to power plants based on tariff based competitive bidding for executing Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). The electricity demand has increased rapidly. The increase in supply of coal is not commensurate with the domestic coal requirement of the thermal power plants. Further, there are logistics constraints of Railways in transportation of coal in certain areas. In order to ensure adequate availability of coal, the following steps has been taken by the Government:

To address the issues of coal supplies to power sector, an Inter-Ministerial Sub Group comprising of representatives from Ministries of Power, Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Railways, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Coal India Limited (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) meet regularly to take various operational decisions to enhance supply of coal to thermal power plants as well as for meeting any contingent situations relating to Power Sector including to alleviate critical coal stock position in power plants.

An inter-ministerial Secretary-level meeting is held regularly to monitor coal stocks.

Government has issued the revised coal stocking norms, which mandates the power plants to maintain sufficient stock at all times to meet any contingent situation.

Power Utilities are importing coal considering their requirement as well as cost-economics. Ministry of Power vide order dated 09.01.2023 directed Central/State Gencos and IPPs to take necessary actions to import coal for blending at the rate of 6% by weight through a transparent competitive procurement so as to have sufficient stock at their power plants for smooth operations till September, 2023.

Railways have taken steps to purchase 1 Lakh wagons. There has also been an increase in the network of Railways in coal mining areas.

This information was given by the Minister of Power Sh. R.K. Singh in the Rajya Sabha Today.

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