- Power plants run out of coal stocks; states to witness intermittent power cuts
- Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan seek intervention from Centre
- “Unnecessary panic being created over the issue, surplus in stock” – Union Power Minister RK Singh
Coal shortage in power plants and consequent reduction in power generation might force the state to plan for intermittent power cuts. Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal stated that the Mejia thermal power station located in West Bengal, that supplies approximately 100MW to Delhi, has completely shut down. The former has no stocks to last for even one additional day, according to reports.
In a press conference held on Sunday, Delhi Deputy CM, Manish Sisodia spoke of a major coal crisis across several plants. He also expressed concerns over Union Minister dismissing the coal supply crisis and assuring that the supply is ahead of the average per day requirement. Delhi and other states could face load shedding and blackouts if Central Government does not settle the issue promptly.
In view of the fact that discontinued power supplies could adversely impact vital institutions such as “hospitals, cold chains for Covid-19 vaccines and Covid Care Centres”. Four out of the five major coal base thermal plants accounting for 1,971MW of electricity supply to Delhi everyday, one had completely run out of stocks while the remaining four had reserves that would survive mere 3-4 days.
Data provided by the Central Electricity Authority of India reveal that 80% of the 135 thermal power plants (coal-based), are in critical stage and have supplies that would last no longer than 6-7 days. 13 thermal plants shut in Maharashtra, pressing the State’s Electricity Regulatory Commission to appeal to citizens for judicial electricity consumption, primarily during the peak hours.
With the shutting down 3 thermal power stations, Punjab has been experiencing load shedding of upto 4 hrs a day, which has ignited protests in different regions of the state. 14 power plants shut in UP call for a 4-5 hour power cut in rural areas. The cost of electricity has also shot up, forcing the UP government to purchase electricity at Rs 15-20 per unit.
Centre Dismissal of the shortage claims that availability is surplus and criticised needless panic across states. Union Minister for Power, RK Singh stated that the Gas Authority of India Ltd. Has assured continual supply of gas to power stations. He also added that diminished supply is typical during monsoons when the mines are flooded. Ministry of Coal added to this saying that the current fuel at the coal-base thermal power plants, amounts upto 7.2 million tons.
Home Minister Amit Shah meets the ministries of coal and power, amidst concerns of a probable power breakdown. Union Minister for Power, RK Singh, Minister of Coal Pralhad Joshi and NTPC officials among others present at the meeting.