Delhi may be in for power cuts if coal shortage not resolved: Sisodia
Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday said that the national capital may have to plan power cuts if the shortage of coal continued in power plants, even as he criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government for allegedly being dismissive about the crisis, citing the example of the oxygen crisis during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in April.
“We shall have to consider planning power cuts in Delhi if stocks are not replenished in 24 hours. There is a major crisis of coal in several power plants. The Union minister has dismissed the shortage and criticised chief minister Arvind Kejriwal writing to Prime Minister Modi regarding the matter,” Sisodia said in a press conference on Sunday.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is failing to govern the country and they are running away from responsibilities. In a similar fashion, states had warned the Union government against an oxygen crisis and the Central government dodged its responsibilities. Now the coal shortage issue can lead to a power crisis situation,” he said.
“A power crisis is equivalent to pushing the country into a dark pit. Governments in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi are seeking help from the Union government but it has so far failed in resolving the matter. The Union government is stressing more on proving that states are wrong in their assessment of power shortage. Governments operate through cooperation. We urge the Union government to be more cooperative,” said Sisodia.
Delhi could face power outages if the Central government does not quickly resolve the coal shortage at power plants, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said on Saturday. His remarks followed reports that over half of 135 coal-fired utilities, which supply more than half of India’s electricity, have fuel stocks to last just under three days.
Kejriwal sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the crisis in a letter. A supply disruption could impact strategic institutions such as hospitals, cold chains for Covid-19 vaccines and Covid Care Centres, he wrote.
Of the five coal-fired thermal power plants that supply Delhi about 1,971MW electricity every day, at least one has completely run out of stock, Kejriwal wrote in the letter. He was referring to the Mejia thermal power station in West Bengal, which provides 100MW of electricity to Delhi.
The plant has no coal reserve to generate electricity for even one extra day, the letter indicated. Of the remaining four, three had only a day of coal stocks, while the fourth had a reserve of four days, it added.