Coal shortage may lead to power crisis in five states
Five states, including Delhi may face a major power crisis due to an unprecedented shortage of coal in plants run by the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
According to a senior DVC official, the corporation requires 16.86 lakh metric tons of coal per day for generation of power in all 24 units at its six plants. But the DVC gets merely one third of the quantity required — 5.09 lakh MT per day.
DVC has a power generation capacity of 6,357 MW per day but due to shortage of coal, its plants generate merely 2,500-2,800 MW per day. On Monday, the total power generation by DVC plants, as of 3pm, was 2,524 MW.
Many companies supply coal to the DVC, including Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), Central Coalfield Limited (CCL), Eastern Coalfield Limited (ECL) and Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL). The companies have cut in a fixed quota of coal to DVC, with the corporation not paying bills running into thousands of crores. Several power units of the DVC are lying defunct owing to the shortage of coal.
“Owing to the short supply of coal from different coal companies, DVC has been left with stock for hardly one week. If the present trend of supply continues, power generation may drop sharply, which can affect supply to dependent states,” said DVC Maithon - based senior officer Pramod Kumar.
“BCCL has caused a major crisis by reducing the supply. The company has to supply 42,000 tons of coal per day but DVC gets merely 14,000 tons of coal per day,” said Kumar.
DVC owes BCCL due amounting to Rs 963 crore and has to pay Rs 120 crore per month as arrears. BCCL’s department of sales recently shot off a strong letter to the DVC management regarding the clearance of pending bills.
According to officials, several states have neglected to pay for power, which has crippled the DVC. Jharkhand alone owes the company over Rs 6,000 crore.