State power generation company Mahagenco has washed its hands off the current electricity crisis.
It said on Friday that it was responsible for only 400 Megawatt (MW) shortfall, and blamed its coal supplier Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) for providing sub-standard.
During a press conference, Mahagenco managing director Subrat Ratho said WCL had been playing truant with his company. “The WLC does not allow us to verify coal for quality before it is dispatched to us. It’s a racket,” he said, adding that Mahagenco was ready to buy raw coal from WCL provided they agreed to certain conditions.
However, MK Singh, chief general manager, corporate communications, WCL, dismissed the charges and advised the officer to “correct the company’s policy before making wild allegations”.
Mahagenco needs 45.59 million metric tonnes of coal annually for its installed thermal capacity of 6,480 MW. Of this, 50% coal is supplied by WCL.
Currently, the state distribution company Mahavitaran that buys Mahagenco’s entire generation faces a shortfall of 3,500-4,000 MW. It enforces power cuts of 3 hours in urban areas and up to 11 hours in rural areas.
On Friday, the company got extra power from the Centre pool to avoid unscheduled power cuts. Ratho claimed that many of his plants had developed snags since the WCL coal supply was mixed with heavy stones. “The stones damage conveyer belts that carry coal to boilers. Because of stones, we need more time to unload the rail wagons. Delay creates shortage of fuel that ultimately hits our generation.”
Singh told Hindustan Times that Mahagenco had a contract to buy certain quantum of coal from WCL. “We have an agreement of certain parameters of sampling. We don’t understand why the company continued to release money to us despite realising that we were supplying bad quality [coal].’’
Singh said the problem was with the about coal washers — the private parties that clean and process raw coal.