Amid coal shortages hitting power generation in the country, the government today said it has stepped up the supplies to power firms to overcome the crisis of load-shedding.

The ministry swung into action after electricity supply was badly hit in some parts, including North India.

“The coal dispatch has now increased to 180 rakes... out of which 149 rakes have been supplied to power sector,” the coal ministry said in a statement.

The ministry had said on Friday that coal dispatches have increased to 169 rakes (as on Thursday), out of which 148 rakes had been supplied to the power sector

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had said on Wednesday that normalcy in coal supply to power firms would be restored within 48 hours.

The total dispatches are likely to be increased further over the next few days, the statement said.

In order to meet the requirements of the power stations in north, the ministry said that it was targeting to increase the supply of rakes to 53 per day. The ministry had dispatched on an average 40 rakes per day of coal in the current month.

“The power plants in the northern region were supplied 140 rakes during the last three days, which includes 16 rakes to Badarpur TPS (Thermal Power Station) and 20 rakes to Dadri TPS,” the statement said.

The ministry also said that the coal stock in the power houses, particularly north, was being monitored very closely and wherever required the supply of the fossil fuel was being increased.

“The coal companies have been advised to ensure priority movement of coal to the power stations,” the statement said.

The power situation in the country is grim as many plants of the country’s largest power generator NTPC are running below capacity levels due to paucity of coal.

Many states including Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and West Bengal, have seen power cuts for long hours in the past few days.

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.

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