- Said, states were already asked to increase stock
- Minister claims, many states refused to take coal
- Shortage of coal due to rain, increase in international prices
In the midst of the growing coal crisis in the country, politics has also heated up regarding this. Now the Modi government has retaliated on some states, which are putting the central government in the dock for the problem. The Union Coal Minister has put the blame on the states. He said that the states had already been asked to increase the coal stock. Many even refused to take coal. By the way, he did not name any state. Whatever happens at the moment, but if the situation is not brought under control, the country’s lights are sure to go off. This will affect everyone.
On Tuesday, Union Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi said, ‘I do not want to name any state. But, from January to June, we were requesting the states to increase the stock a little. In June, many states also requested us not to send us coal.
Joshi said that there was a shortage of coal due to rain. This led to an increase in international prices from Rs 60 per tonne to Rs 190 per tonne. Thereafter the imported coal power plants either shut down for 15-20 days or produce very little. This put pressure on domestic coal.
The government has asked Coal India to increase the supply of coal to power stations during Durga Puja from 15.5 to 1.6 million tonnes per day. Also, after October 20, it has been asked to increase to 17 lakh tonnes per day. This step could be significant in view of the shortage of coal in the power stations when the festivals have started in the country. Public sector Coal India on Monday supplied 16.15 lakh tonnes of coal to the power sector.
Dependence of power houses on coal
According to a recent report by Coal India, 69 per cent of the electricity generation in the country comes from coal-based plants. In such a situation, the role of Coal India in the supply of coal for the country’s power sector is very important. About 80 per cent of the company’s total supply of coal is being given to the power sector.
It is said that all the coal required for the power houses is being supplied. It is another matter that the stock is not increasing. The reason is that the supply of coal is only as per the requirement. They (power houses) did not pay attention to filling their stock.
Coal India has increased the supply of coal to power stations across the country to 15.1 lakh tonnes in the last four days in the current month. The company said it is also taking adequate clearance measures to transport coal. The average supply to coal-fired power plants during October so far has been 1.4.3 million tonnes per day. It has now increased to 15.1 lakh tonnes in the last four days.
What is the status of coal in power stations?
The latest figures show that the number of power stations with less than four days of coal stock rose to 70 on Sunday. It was 64 a week ago on 3rd October. Of the total 135 plants with an installed capacity of over 1,65,000 MW, 70 power stations had less than four days of coal left as on 10 October 2021. The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) monitors these 135 power stations.
The CEA’s latest report on coal stocks for power plants also showed that the number of power plants with coal reserves of less than seven days increased to 115 from 107 in the previous week.
The hands and feet of the states are blooming
States are swelling due to the coal crisis. They are waiting for help from the Centre. After many states, the name of Rajasthan has also been added to this list. She has told that she is struggling hard to maintain the balance of demand and supply. The state government has written a letter to the Union Coal Secretary Anil Jain to increase the supply of coal from Coal India. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Tuesday that to say that there is no shortage of coal is dishonest. There is a shortage of coal, everyone knows, the states are in trouble and the responsibility of getting out of the crisis rests with the central government. Before this, many states including Delhi, Bihar, Kerala have spoken about the shortage of coal.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had said that the power situation in the entire country is ‘extremely critical’. At the same time, his cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain had claimed that the Delhi government had to buy expensive gas-based power at a higher market rate as NTPC has halved the power supply in the city. Jain said the Center should acknowledge the coal crisis and deal with the problem instead of denial. On this issue, Chief Ministers of many states including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have written letters to the Center. Punjab is also facing power cuts.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath had called a meeting of the electricity department at his home on Monday. In this it was decided that there will be no power cut from 6 pm to 7 am under any circumstances. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also accepted the serious shortage of coal. At the same time, the Kerala government has asked to take a decision on the power cut on October 19.
Home Minister Amit Shah also in action
Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Power Minister RK Singh and Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi on Monday amid reports of coal crisis in the country. This meeting lasted for about an hour. During this, the three ministers discussed the availability of coal to power plants and the demand for electricity at this time.
Why did the coal stock decrease?
There are four reasons for the depletion of coal reserves in power plants. These include unprecedented increase in power demand due to economic recovery, adverse impact on coal production and transportation due to heavy rains in coal mines, steep rise in the prices of imported coal and insufficient coal stock before monsoon.