Three power plants designated by the government to supply 3,490 megawatts of power to the Capital during the 2010 Commonwealth Games could run into problems even before they take off with the Indian Railways expressing its inability to provide coal linkages for these plants.
The power supply from these three power plants is expected to largely address the issue of loadshedding during the peak summer months.
According to projections Delhi will need almost 5,500 mega watts of power by 2010 when the city would also host the Games. At present power needs of the city vary between 2,900 megawatt to 3,000 megawatts per day.
The plants include the 2x500 megawatt plant at Kodarma in Jharkhand being developed by the Damodar Valley Corporation, the 2x490 megawatt unit being developed at Dadri Extension Stage –II by National Thermal Power Corporation and the 3x500 megawatt unit being developed by the NTPC in Jhajjar, Haryana.
In a letter to the ministry of power, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has said coal linkages for these units have been tied up with different public sector coal undertakings, but the Railways has "shown their inability" to move coal to these units from the designated mines.
An Indian Railway official said, "The inability of Railways to provide coal linkages for these plants is not because it does not want to do so, it is because we are overstressed."
Coal linkages for the Kodarma project have been tied up with the Mahanadi Coal Fields Limited from its mines at Hirodih and Kodarma, though it now appears that the Railways would not be able to move coal to the power plant.
To sort out the issue regarding coal linkage at the Kodrrma plant, the Central Electricity Authority has asked the government "to take up the matter with the ministry of coal to allocate coal from Central Coalfeilds Limited and the Railways to make arrangements for coal transportation to the Kodarma thermal power plant".
Similarly, coal linkages for the Dadri-Extension stage-II in Uttar Pradesh also seem to be in trouble. Despite coal linkages being tied up for the plant from Central Coalfields mines, the ministry of railways have "expressed their inability" to move coal and have asked the coal ministry for rationalisation of coal linkage. The CEA has asked the railways to take immediate and necessary action for supplying coal to the Dadri project.
Coal transportation to Jhajjar plant could also run into rough weather with the railways needing three years to double the railway line from Mathura station to Jharli (railway station closest to the Jhajjar plant) from where coal would be transported to the power plant. With not much time left for the Commonwealth Games to begin, the CEA has sought the government's intervention to address the issue.