Coal crisis: NCT of Delhi and six major states could face ‘blackout’

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal has written to PM Narendra Modi that NCT of Delhi could face a blackout in a couple of days if the coal supply does not improve.

Amid concerns being expressed about a possible blackout due to coal shortage in the country, central government once again assured that there is ample coal available in the country to meet the demand of power plants. The Union Minister of Power RK Singh said, “we have sufficient power available….we are supplying power to the entire country. Whoever wants, give me a requisition and I will supply them.”

The Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia has called out Minister of Power RK Singh’s sufficient coal stock statement as “irresponsible” adding that the same had been said by the government at the time of pandemic over shortage of oxygen in the capital during the Covid-19 second wave. Sisodia further called out authorities for turning a blind eye over the coal crisis.

Six major states including the national capital are at threat of facing power cut or blackout. Tamil Nadu and Odisha have also raised concern over long power cuts due to the shortage of coals in power plants, that presents an alarming situation.

Reasons for the coal crisis: Mr Singh said “the supply routinely droops during monsoon as the mines get flooded, but the demand remains high especially with the growing economy.”

Coal Minister Parlhad Joshi said, “The increase in the international price of coal and heavy rainfall in the country this year contributed to its shortage.” Added that “within another three to four days things will be alright”.

States those are at threat of power crisis:

Punjab: Punjab is facing a power cut off 13 to 14 hours and the situation would last till October 13. Severe coal shortage has forced the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited to cut down power generation and impose load shedding. Because of depleted coal stock, the coal-fired power plants are operating at less than 50 percent of their generation capacity said officials.

Kerala: Kerala electricity minister K Krishnan Kutty on Sunday said that “the state government may have to resort to load shedding in case shortage of power from the central pool continues for a long time due to non-availability of coal for the thermal power plants. For the past few days. The state has been experiencing a shortage of 15 percent of power from the central pool due to the closure of four thermal stations due to coal shortage.

Rajasthan: Rajasthan is facing 1 hour of power cut on daily basis. Tata Power has signed contracts to supply 1,850 MW electricity to Gujarat, 475 MW to Punjab, 380 MW to Rajasthan, 760 MW to Maharastra, 380 MW to Haryana from its imported coal-based power plant at Mundra in Gujarat, that has stopped generation.

Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) said “power will be suspended in parts of Chennai for carrying out maintenance work in the city.”

Andhara Pradesh: has been meeting grid demand of about 185-190 MU daily. Power generation stations operated by APGENCO, which supply about 45 percent of the states energy demands, hardly have coal stock for one or two days and power supply could be impacted further.

Delhi: Tata Power Distribution Limited which supplies electricity to parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi on Saturday warned of intermittent rotational power cuts as units supplying electricity to Delhi DISCOMS (distribution companies) have coal stocks to meet generation for next 1-2 days.

Over half of India’s 135 coal-power plants which in total supply around 70 percent of the country’s electricity, have fuel stocks of less than three days, data from the central grid operator showed as per, Reuters.

“If coal supply doesn’t improve, there will be a blackout in Delhi in two days,” the national capital’s Minister of Power Satyendra Jain said. The coal-fired power plants that supply electricity to Delhi have to keep a minimum coal stock of one month, but now it has come down to one day” Mr Jain said.

Our request to the centre that railway wagon should be arranged and coal should be transported to the plants soonest. All the plants are already running in only 55% capacity,” the minister in the chief minister Arwind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi party government said.

Though Delhi has a 1,300-megawatt gas-fired power plant in Bawana on the city’s outskirts. “All three companies in Delhi are distributors, not power producers. We depend on the centre’s plants if the supply will not come then after two days there will be a blackout in the whole of Delhi” Mr. Jain said.

Reuters analysis of daily load dispatch data from the central grid regulator showed India’s power supply deficit in the first seven days of October amounted to 11.2 per cent of the country’s total shortage throughout the year.

CM Kejriwal tweeted that he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his intervention in making adequate arrangements of coal and gas power to power plants supplying electricity to the city. I am personally keeping a close watch over the situation said Kejriwal.

The Union Home Minister Amit Shah holds meetings with the Union Power Minister RK Singh and coal minister Parlhad Joshi, assuring everyone that there is absolutely no threat of disruption in power supply.

Bihar and Jharkhand are the states that are facing the worst power supply crisis. The Bihar CM Nitish Kumar acknowledged the shortage of coal in the state and the country.

Considering the present crisis people should be prepared mentally and be prepared with backup plans to deal with the crisis. For instance, keeping a check on inverters and other electronic items, maintaining water stock as shortage of electricity may lead to water scarcity with that, using electricity in a responsible manner.

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