Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Railway Board, VK Tripathi on Sunday said that the demand and consumption of coal this year have increased significantly in comparison to 2021.
Tripathi`s remarks came amid continued and increasing temperatures gripping Maharashtra thereby leading to an increase in demand for electricity and thus, coal. Many parts of the state reported temperatures over 41 degrees Celsius as part of ongoing heatwave, the India Meteorological Department informed in its daily bulletin.
Speaking on this development, Tripathi said to the reporters today, “Demand and consumption for coal has gone up significantly in comparison to last year. So, we are transporting coal in higher quantities. We are operating extra coal rakes and on a higher priority than Mail and Express trains.”
“We can say there is a 20 per cent rise in the demand and consumption of coal from last year. In the month of April 2022, we have transported 15 per cent more coal than we did in April 2021,” Tripathi said.
On April 29, the national weather agency IMD issued an “orange alert” for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra for four days as a heatwave sweeps through parts of the country.
The IMD uses four colour codes for weather warnings wherein green means no action needed, yellow refers to watch and stay updated, orange means be prepared and red alert means take action.
In April, Union Minister of Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi, said that the Centre is continuously taking many steps to increase coal production in the country, citing India`s coal production has increased to 777 MT and offtake of 818 MT in the financial year 2021-22.
“The country`s coal production was just 566 MT in the FY 2013-14, while it has increased to 777 MT and offtake 818 MT in the FY 2021-22 under the Modi-government. But Rahul Gandhi does not understand these figures, because he is a fool. If he is so fond of making predictions, then he should at least once tell the future of his own party!” Joshi further said.
Several states of India have been reeling from power outages due to the coal crisis in the country. Coal India Limited has reported an increase of 27.2 per cent in its output in April 2022, as compared to the year-ago period, the Ministry of Coal on Friday.
The demand for power has risen in April due to heatwave and people in different parts of the country are facing power cuts. The problem has been accentuated by a steep rise in prices of imported coal due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and some power plants not operating to their full capacity.
Amid reports of a dip in coal stocks with thermal plants, Joshi has said that the country`s thermal plants hold about 22 million tonnes of coal which is enough for 10 days and replenishment will be done continuously.
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