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Union ministers for power and railways held a meeting on Monday to devise strategies for increasing coal supplies to power generation companies in order to meet the rising power demand amid looming coal shortages.

Power minister R.K Singh and railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw were accompanied by power secretary Alok Kumar, coal secretary A.K Jain and other senior officials from the ministries of power, coal and railways. Representatives from state-run companies in coal and power sectors and states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra joined virtually, said the power ministry.

During the meeting, Singh urged all stakeholders at the centre and state level to work hand-in-hand for unhindered power supply. He urged power gencos to own freight rakes under the scheme of ministry of railways to deal with logistic constraints in coal supply.

“Issues discussed included increasing operational efficiency for loading and unloading of coal, increasing percentage of rakes allotment for power sector, and other logistics issues," it said.

The meeting comes at a time when a shortage of coal stocks has led to fears of a power crisis, with several states already reeling under power outages.

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