With fears being expressed about factory output and manufacturing growth being impacted by the power crisis prevailing in various parts of the country, the Coal Ministry on Saturday said it had stepped up supplies to power firms to overcome the crisis of load shedding.

Despatches

With many parts of Northern, Eastern and Southern regions undergoing load shedding and power cuts, the Coal Ministry said in a statement here that it had increased the coal despatch to 180 rakes out of which 149 rakes have been supplied to the power sector.

The Coal Ministry had on Friday stated that coal despatches have been increased to 169 rakes on Thursday, out of which 148 rakes had been supplied to the power sector.

The statement said total despatches were likely to be increased further over the next few days.

In order to meet the requirements of the power stations in the North, the Coal Ministry said that it was targeting to increase the supply of rakes to 53 a day. The Ministry had despatched on an average 40 rakes a day of coal in the current month.

The power situation is grim as many plants of NTPC are running below capacity levels due to paucity of coal.

A slew of factors, including floods in Orissa and Telangana agitation, have hit coal supplies to power units. At present, over 40 thermal power stations have coal stocks sufficient to meet demand for less than a week. As many as 29 projects have less than four days of coal reserves.