New Delhi: Amid the reports of coal shortage and concerns being raised about a possible power crisis, the government is continuously trying to assure that there is sufficient coal available to meet the demand of thermal power plants across the country.
Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Tuesday clarified that there has been no let-up in coal supply in India and there are no threats to the power supply as there is sufficient coal stock of 43 million tonnes which is equivalent to 24 days of the country’s coal demand.
While the Central government is urging people not to fall for fear mongering as the government is planning to ramp up the production of coal from 1.94 million tonnes to 2 million tonnes per day, the opposition on the other hand is holding the Modi government responsible for the current shortage of coal in the country.
On Monday, the Ministry of Power has sent a letter to states and requested to use the unallocated power for supplying electricity to the consumers of the State. In case of surplus power, the States are requested to intimate so that this power can be reallocated to other needy States.
States Raise Alarm
Several states like Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have red-flagged the issue and have raised concern over power blackouts in the coming days.
With about 13 thermal power plants being shut in the state of Maharashtra due to the shortage of coal, Maharashtra State Electricity Regulatory Commission (MSEDCL) has urged the citizens to use electricity sparingly during peak hours. The Kerala government has also said that they may have to resort to load-shedding in case the shortage of power from the Central pool continues for a long time.
Similarly, states like Punjab, Karnataka and Delhi are also facing coal shortage and have requested the Centre to increase coal supply to the states.
Opposition Leaders Cry Foul
Meanwhile, Karnataka’s leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah also reacted towards the recent coal crisis and accused the state government of creating an artificial deficiency of coal in the southern state only with an aim to privatise thermal plants.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury has alleged that the Central government was hiding the truth from the country over the power crisis and coal shortage after complaints from various states regarding thermal units facing shut down. He said that the government is now hiding facts like they were doing during the second wave of COVID-19 regarding the shortage of oxygen.
“Why the government does not reveal the truth to the country? I urge this government to tell truth to the people of the country. How long will you run the government by misleading the people?” Yechury added.
Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday hit out at the Central Government saying, “It looks like a power crisis is being created.” Jain was quoted by ANI as saying, “We are compelled to buy electricity at five times the average rate as of now. It looks like the crisis is being created. If there’s no shortage of coal, why is NTPC not producing electricity to its full capacity?”
(With inputs from ANI)