'Acts of irresponsible behaviour creating panic': Power minister refutes reports of coal shortage
The minister met officials from BSES, Delhi’s power ministry, and Tata power at his residence on Sunday to talk about the issue of coal shortage in power plants.
Union power minister RK Singh criticised the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) and Tata Power for sending “baseless SMSs” to customers and creating panic about a power crisis, warning that such acts will be treated as instances of “irresponsible behaviour”.
“I've warned Tata Power CEO of action if they send baseless SMSs to customers that can create panic. Messages by GAIL and Tata Power qualify as acts of irresponsible behaviour,” he said, adding that “neither there was, nor there is any crisis. It was created unnecessarily.”
The minister met officials from BSES, Delhi’s power ministry, and Tata power at his residence on Sunday to talk about the issue of coal shortage in power plants. He told reporters that the GAIL CMD was asked to continue supplying the required amount of gas to power plants across the country, and that GAIL has “assured” him that supplies will continue.
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Singh also hit out at Congress for their remarks on the reported coal shortage, alleging that “the Congress party has run out of ideas. They are running out of votes and therefore they are running out of ideas as well.”
Delhi’s power minister Satyendar Jain had warned residents of an acute coal shortage in thermal power plants across the country and cautioned that the national capital had enough coal stocks to last one more day. "There is an acute shortage of coal in coal-fired power plants across the country. There is only one day's stock left in the plants from which Delhi gets electricity, there is no coal at all," Jain told reporters on Saturday.
Following which Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to the Prime Minister urging for his intervention in ensuring power plants supplying electricity to Delhi have access to sufficient quantities of coal and gas.
The CEO of Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) Ganesh Srinivasan warned on Saturday that the national capital might witness intermittent and rotational load shedding in the coming days as coal-based power stations are left with coal stocks that will last one-two days.
Both Jain and Srinivasan’s warnings came after the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) released a report claiming that of the 135 power plants it monitors across the country, 64 non-pithead power plants (plants located 1500 kms away from coal mines) are left with coal stocks for less than four days of supply.
Singh refuted these claims insisting that the demand for coal is actually a sign of the economy recovering after the brutal second wave brought things to a standstill.
(With agency inputs)