Amid Blackout Concern, Coal Shortage Fears, Centre’s Assurance: 10 Points


65 per cent to 70 per cent of electricity demand in India is being met by coal-fired power plants.

New Delhi:
An increase in the international price of coal has led to its shortage, thus affecting its supply for power plants, the Centre has said after several states raised concerns over blackouts. The situation will be “alright” in the next few days, it said

Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:

  1. Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi also added that heavy rainfall in the country this year has also contributed to the coal shortage. “However, if you compare with the past many years, coal production and dispatch have been the highest in September and especially in October. In another three to four days, things will be alright,” Mr Joshi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

  2. The Power Ministry listed four reasons for the depletion of coal stocks at power plants – the unprecedented increase in demand for electricity due to revival of the economy, heavy rains in coal mine areas, increase in the price of imported coal and legacy issues such as heavy dues of coal companies in certain states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

  3. An inter-ministerial sub-group led by the Coal Ministry has been monitoring the coal stock situation twice a week, it said in a statement on Saturday. The ministry and Coal India Ltd have assured that they are making best efforts to increase dispatch to the power sector to 1.6 million tonnes or MT per day in the next three days and thereafter try to reach 1.7 MT per day.

  4. Several states, including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu, raised concerns over blackouts. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, warned that the national capital “could face a blackout” in the next two days if coal supplies to power plants do not improve.

  5. The power ministry said the country’s oil ministry will facilitate gas supplies to enable two power plants in Delhi to operate. State-run NTPC, the country’s largest electricity producer, has also been directed to increase coal stocks to two coal-fired plants near the national capital to ensure sufficient supply.

  6. Neighbouring Punjab has imposed rotational load shedding at several places due to the severe coal shortage at thermal power plants in the state. The power plants in the state are left with coal stock of up to five days, an official of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

  7. Chattisgarh – another state facing a power crisis – has said that it is making efforts to ensure that there is no shortage of coal supply in the state. “Our officials are making continuous efforts to maintain the supply of coal in the state. Officials are monitoring the situation. Efforts are being made to ensure that there is no shortage of supply,” Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said.

  8. In the south, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “urgent personal attention” to monitor the power generation scenario as the situation in the state was “quite alarming”. “The power sector is being pushed into turmoil because of coal shortage,” the Chief Minister pointed out. The state has been currently meeting a demand of about 185-190 million units of power daily.

  9. Earlier, on Tuesday, Union Power Minister RK Singh dismissed media reports of coal shortage in the country and asserted that there is no coal crisis in India like China and the country is in a position to meet the increasing demand for coal.

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