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New Delhi, October 11: Amid the ongoing coal crisis situation in the country, several states have raised concerns over power blackouts saying that the issues are real and action needs to be taken at the earliest to resolve the issue. Several Chief Ministers have written to PM Narendra Modi raising concerns asking for immediate action amid fears of blackout. However, the Coal Ministry and Coal India Limited (CIL) have assured that there is ample coal available in the country to meet the demand of power plants, and any fear of disruption in the power supply is entirely misplaced. Several states and UTs including Kerala, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi have warned of a power outage in the wake of a severe coal shortage and sought intervention into the issue from the Centre.
In Tamil Nadu, the Thermal power stations of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (Tangedo) are facing a crisis following the depletion of coal supply. Reports inform that the state government-run Power corporation has already approached both Coal India Ltd as well as the Ministry of Power to overcome this crisis that is looming large over the state.
Punjab is once again heading towards major power outage. Reports inform that the thermal plants are heading to deficiency of coal in wake of its inadequate supply against the agreements with various subsidiaries of the Coal India Ltd (CIL), state officials said on Sunday. Most of the plants have been left with fossil fuel storage of one-two days. Due to this, they are operating at a minimal capacity. To overcome the coal shortage, power cuts have been imposed across the state, ranging from three to four hours daily.
The AAP government in Delhi blamed the Centre over the ongoing coal crisis row. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday said the Centre is running away from the issue of shortage of power production. "The coal situation is similar to the Oxygen crisis. However, the Centre won't accept it," he said. Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to PM Modi, warning that the national capital "could face a blackout" if the supplies did not improve. Delhi Stares at Power Blackout As Power Plants Supplying Electricity Facing Acute Coal Shortage, Says Satyendar Jain.
Later, Delhi Power Minister Satyendra Jain had said that if the coal supply didn't improve, there will be a blackout in Delhi in two days to which the Centre said that sufficient fuel is being provided to power plants supplying the national capital.
In Maharashtra, the energy department on Sunday urged citizens to save electricity as the coal shortage threatens power outage in the state. Reports inform that with 13 thermal power plants have been shut due to shortage of coal prompting the Maharashtra State Electricity Regulatory Commission (MSEDCL) to appeal to citizens to use electricity sparingly during peak hours.
YS Jagan Mohan Reddy sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's urgent intervention in view of the alarming situation in the state due to unfolding energy crisis. Taking about the coal shortage and poor finances of power distribution companies, he urged the PM to initiate remedial measures and monitor the power generation scenario on daily basis. In a letter to Narendra Modi, the chief minister said it has become increasingly difficult for the state to meet the energy demand and the situation was pushing it towards load shedding.
Congress Raises Coal Shortage Issue
On Sunday, Congress blamed the Modi government for the coal shortage in the country and expressed fear that power rates may be increased now after the hike in petrol prices. Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh demanded an investigation into the coal shortage. Targeting the prime minister, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged it is a "Modi made power crisis" for the benefit of his "friends". Coal Shortage in India: States Stare at Power Blackout Due to Depleting Coal Stock; Here's Everything You Need to Know About Looming Energy Crisis.
Coal Shortage Situation to Normalise Across Country: Govt
Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Saturday acknowledged the current coal crisis in the country and assured that the situation will normalise in the next three-four days. The Minister noted that despite adverse circumstances, the country recorded highest coal production in October 2021. He asserted that the price of coal in the international market has suddenly risen sharply, which resulted to a reduction in imports. While on the other hand, heavy rains affected domestic coal production significantly.
According to reports, amid coal supply crunch, residents in Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand, are experiencing power cuts stretching to up to 14 hours a day. On Sunday, the Ministry of Coal reassured the country that ample coal is available in the country to meet the demand for power plants. Power Minister RK Singh Dismisses Reports of Coal Crisis in India, Says Surge in Energy Demand Signals Recovery of Economy.
In an official release, the Ministry said any fear of disruption in the power supply is entirely misplaced. "The coal stock at power plant end is about 72 lakh tonnes, sufficient for 4 days requirement, and that the Coal India Limited (CIL) end is more than 400 lakh tonnes, which is being supplied to the power plants," it said.