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Power Ministry Cites Heavy Rain, Economic Revival & Other Reasons For Coal Crisis

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Even as coal shortage in the country took its first casualty with Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) cutting down power generation, the Power Ministry has cited the reasons for the crisis.

Admitting the problem, the ministry said as on October 3, the average stock of coal in power plants was for about four days. In a release, the ministry cited following four reasons for the depletion of coal stocks at the power plants:

  • Unprecedented increase in demand for electricity due to the revival of the economy
  • Heavy rains in coal mine areas during September 2021 thereby adversely affecting the coal production as well as despatch of coal from mines
  • Increase in prices of imported coal to unprecedented high level leading to more dependence on domestic coal and a substantial reduction in power generation
  • Lack of adequate coal stocks before the onset of Monsoon

The ministry also said there were heavy dues of coal companies in states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the Core Management Team (CMT) formed by the Ministry of Power  is closely monitoring the coal stock on daily basis to ensure follow-up actions with Coal India Ltd (CIL) and Indian Railways to improve the supply to power plants. The team comprises representatives of MOP, CEA, POSOCO, Railways and CIL.

The ministry said as on October 7, the total dispatch of coal by CIL was 1.501 MT thereby reducing the gap between consumption and actual supply.

The Ministry of Coal and CIL have assured that they are taking steps to increase dispatch to the power sector to 1.6 MT per day in the next three days and thereafter try to touch 1.7 MT per day.

In Punjab, as the thermal power plants are left with coal stock for upto five days, they have cut down the power generation. On Friday, the power plants had received some coal supply to run their operations, he added.

Though the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) officials claimed minimal load shedding, power-cuts for two-three hours have been reported at many places in the state.

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