Amid the reports of power crisis due to coal shortage in the country, Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Tuesday said that the shortage of fossil fuel was triggered due to rains causing an increase in its international prices. He further explained that imported coal power plants were either shut for 15-20 days or were producing very less, putting pressure on domestic coal.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, the Union Minister said, “Due to rains, there was coal shortage, causing an increase in international prices- from Rs 60 per ton to Rs 190 per ton. Subsequently, imported coal power plants are either shut for 15-20 days or producing very less. This put pressure on domestic coal.”
“We have continued our supply, even continued in the past despite dues. We are requesting them (states) to increase stock…There won’t be a coal shortage,” he assured.
He further stated that on Monday the Ministry of Coal supplied the highest ever quantity of coal at 1.94 million tons. Joshi also alleged that when the Centre asked the States to increase the stock of coal, they told the government to stop supplying them coal.
“Yesterday we supplied 1.94 million tons, the highest ever supply of domestic coal… As far as states are concerned, this year till June, we requested them to increase stock, some of them went on to say that “please do a favour, don’t send coal now,” said the Union Minister.
Earlier on Monday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a high-level meeting with Power Minister RK Singh, Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi along with top officials of both the ministries in the North Block.
The meeting also saw the presence of top officials of National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC). The high-level meeting was convened a day after the Union Power Minister assured that the supply stock of coal to power plants has exceeded consumption, adding that it will help in improving the fuel stock position gradually.
Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi had earlier denied allegations of power failure due to a shortage of coal. The Power Ministry asserted that the Inter-Ministerial sub-group has been monitoring the status of coal reserves twice a week.