The government listed four reasons for the depletion of coal stocks at power plants — the unprecedented increase in demand for electricity due to revival of the economy, heavy rains in coal mine areas, increase in the price of imported coal, and legacy issues such as heavy dues of coal companies in certain states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.
The huge coal shortage affecting power plants will be handled in the next few days, the Centre said as several states, including Delhi, raised concerns over impending blackouts.
Several states, including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu, have raised concerns over blackouts. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, warned that the national capital “could face a blackout” in the next two days if coal supplies to power plants do not improve.
A “panic has been unnecessarily created about coal shortage” and this is due to miscommunication from GAIL and Tata, Union minister for power RK Singh said today. The country has four days’ reserve, he said. “We have sufficient power available… We are supplying power to the entire country. Whoever wants, give me a requisition and I will supply them,” Union minister for power RK Singh said
An inter-ministerial sub-group led by the Coal Ministry has been monitoring the coal stock situation twice a week, it said in a statement on Saturday. The ministry has assured that they are making efforts to send 1.6 metric tonnes of coal a day in the next three days and will try to reach 1.7 MT a day.
In the south, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “urgent personal attention” calling the situation “quite alarming”. “The power sector is being pushed into turmoil because of coal shortage,” the Chief Minister pointed out.