Coal India General Manager ML Gupta lamented that the “critical generation problems” in the power sector arise frequently because enough coal cannot be transported. Power shortfall for consumers, often impacting industrial output, is often due to transportation problems. While shortage of coal is routinely blamed for power generation gap in the country, shortfall in the supply of rail wagons, the only way to transport coal, is equally the culprit. He said that the demand for coal wagons would be 241 per day by 2017. The Railways plans to increase wagon capacity to three times its current capacity, and recognises coal traffic increases that will need to create a spurt in wagon capacity.
Gupta was speaking at the annual IndiaRail 2011 conference, which was held recently on the theme “Railways Vision 2020: Supply Chain Management and Opportunities in India's Rail Infrastructure”.