Two days after a Delhi minister warned of power shutdown if coal supply to power plants in the national capital did not improve, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said the power situation across the country is “very grim”.
He told the media today, “The situation in the whole country is very serious. Many Chief Ministers have written to the Center about it. All together are trying to improve the situation.”
Several states including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, Odisha and Tamil Nadu have been raising concerns over the blackout.
Mr Kejriwal said all efforts were being made to address the power crisis and his government did not want any “emergency” to arise.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain claimed that the state government had to rely on spot purchases at high market rates and costly gas-based power as the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) cut power supply in the city by half. has given.
Opposing the Delhi government’s claims, sources in the Center told news agency PTI that NTPC has enough coal supply to meet any power requirement in Delhi, and added that discoms would get power from its Dadri power plant. can schedule.
The Coal Ministry had on Sunday dismissed the possibility of power supply disruption as completely false.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also met his cabinet colleagues in charge of coal and power ministries today to discuss the issue of inadequate coal supply and power shortage.
Mr. Jain claims that most of NTPC’s plants are running at 50-55 per cent capacity as their coal stock has been depleted to meet the requirement of a day or two.
He told reporters that Delhi buys most of its power from NTPC but the supply has been halved.
NTPC supplies 4,000 MW of electricity to Delhi.
Mr Jain further claimed that the Center has abolished the quota for cheap gas. “We have to buy it and the cost of production is Rs 17.50 which is not sustainable. Also, we have to resort to purchase of power due to the crisis at a high rate of Rs 20 per unit,” the power minister said.
Mr Jain said the Center should acknowledge the coal crisis and address it instead of denying it. He drew a parallel between the coal crisis and oxygen shortage during the COVID-19 second wave peak in April-May this year. “When we had an oxygen crisis, they kept saying there was no such crisis,” he has said.
Earlier in the day, Union Energy Minister RK Singh said “unnecessary panic has been created over coal shortage”, adding that the situation will be handled in the next few days. Mr Singh also said that “ample electricity is available”.
Sources in the Center told PTI that sufficient rolling coal stock was available, which meant that coal was being replenished every day.
Mr Jain termed the Union minister’s statement as “irresponsible”. “Chief ministers of several states, including Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath, have written to the Center on the issue. Punjab is also facing power cuts,” he said.
“If there is no power crisis, then why has Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath written a letter to the central government. There is a power crisis in the country, if the central government considers it a problem, then only it can be resolved,” he said.