Will supply 'all required quantities': Centre to Delhi govt amid coal shortage
- The statement comes hours after the Delhi government said that it has only one day of stock left at the thermal power station and the city might plunge into the darkness within the next few days.
The central government on Saturday assured the Delhi government that it will supply "all required quantities of gas" to Bawana and Pragati stations after the Delhi government raised concerns regarding the shortage of coal at power plants. In view of the looming crisis, the Centre has also directed National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) to increase coal stocks equal to the national average for Dadri and Jajjhar stations "for full availability", Union Power Secretary said in a statement.
The statement comes hours after the Delhi government said that it has only one day of stock left at the thermal power station and the city might plunge into the darkness within the next few days. "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," Delhi's power minister Satyendra Jain had said.
India is at the brink of a major power crisis as more than half of the country's 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks to last less than three days, according to a report by Reuters. Besides Delhi, several states including Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh have also asked the Centre for adequate supply as they raised similar concerns regarding the low coal stocks.
Meanwhile, the Centre said that the core management team, constituted by the Union ministry of power, is closely monitoring and managing coal stocks on a daily basis. The management body is also working to ensure follow up actions with Coal India Limited and coordinating with Indian "Railways to improve the coal supply to power plants," it added.
The power ministry says that an "unprecedented increase in electricity demand due to revival of the economy (after the second wave of Covid-19) and heavy rains in coal mine areas in September have affected the coal production", which has led to the countrywide power crisis.
"Rise in imported coal prices resulting in dependence on domestic coal are reasons behind depletion of coal stocks at power plants," it also stated.
The core management team comprises representatives from the Union ministry of power, the central electricity authority, power system operation corporation, railways and Coal India Ltd to ensure daily monitoring of the coal stocks and despatches.
Prices of power-generation fuels are surging globally with industrial growth pushing up electricity demand, leading to a tightening of coal and liquefied natural gas supplies.
(With agency inputs)