India faces a major coal crisis with power plants temporarily shutting down in UP and other states will face power cuts due to coal shortage.
Notably, eight power plants in Uttar Pradesh have stopped functioning due to a shortage of coal while six others have been shut temporarily due to other reasons.
Currently, the power demand stands at about 20,000 to 21,000 MW. However, the supply remains at only 17,000 MW. To tackle the shortage, authorities have announced a power cut of four to five hours in a few rural areas.
These 14 power plants supplied 4520MW to the state. With the shortage of power, the per-unit electricity rates are now shooting up to as high as Rs 20 on the exchange. As a result, the Uttar Pradesh government is now forced to buy electricity at Rs 15-20 per unit.
Among all, Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Products Corporation Limited’s plants remain the most affected. Moreover, authorities are yet to pay the arrears on coal due to which they are now facing difficulties in procuring new coal.
However, the Modi government tries to dispel black fears and Union Power Minister RK Singh today said a panic has been created about the coal shortage and this is due to miscommunication from GAIL and Tata.
While panic is escalating about the power supply shortage going to affect more than six states, including the national capital, Union Minister of Coal Pralhad Joshi today said that the Modi government is assuring everyone that there is absolutely no threat of disruption in power supply.
“There is sufficient coal stock of 43 million tonnes with Coal India Ltd equivalent to 24 days coal demand,” Joshi said.
Joshi also added that thermal power plants have rolling stock being replenished with daily supply. “With the withdrawal of monsoon, coal despatches are set to rise in coming days, increasing coal stocks. Reiterating, there’s sufficient coal stock, don’t fall for fear-mongering,” he said, reported news agency ANI.
Furthermore, Union Power Minister RK Singh also said that there will be no power shortage.
“We have an average coal reserve (at power stations) that can last for more than 4 days. The stock is replenished every day. I am in touch with (Union Minister for Coal & Mines) Pralhad Joshi: Union Power Minister RK Singh after chairing a meeting with discoms in Delhi,” said RK Singh, ANI tweeted.
We have an average coal reserve (at power stations) that can last for more than 4 days. The stock is replenished every day. I am in touch with (Union Minister for Coal & Mines) Pralhad Joshi: Union Power Minister RK Singh after chairing a meeting with discoms in Delhi pic.twitter.com/zKX5ndo7OQ
— ANI (@ANI) October 10, 2021