Updated: October 11, 2021 7:34:42 am
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Sunday said the Centre was shutting its eyes to the impending power crisis in the country despite state governments raising concerns. He was reacting to Union Power Minister R K Singh’s statement earlier in the day, saying there was no power crisis in Delhi.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention and highlighting the low availability of coal in thermal power plants that provide electricity to Delhi’s DISCOMs.
The Ministry of Power also issued a statement later in the day, saying that Delhi’s power demand will be met and that there will be no shortage of supply in gas for running gas-based power plants in the city. “Ministry of Coal and Coal India have assured that there is ample coal available in the country to meet the demand of power plants… The Minister (RK Singh) has directed that distribution companies of Delhi will get as much power as requisitioned by them as per their demand. NTPC and DVC have been directed to give full availability as per the requirement of DISCOMs. GAIL India Limited has been advised to make gas available from all sources,” the statement said.
Sisodia, however, compared the situation to the oxygen shortage faced by Delhi during the second Covid wave in April and May.
“For the past three-four days, CMs of different states have alerted the Centre about the coal shortage. The Power Minister, however, said today that there was no crisis at all and these were rumours. He also said that Arvind Kejriwal should not have written to the PM. I am saddened that the union cabinet minister is being so irresponsible. At a time when CMs of different states have sought your intervention, you are criticising them for it. It shows that the BJP has reached a stage where it is not being able to run the government and is running away from reality. Something similar had happened when the oxygen crisis had hit. Governments, doctors, and patients’ attendants were telling them that there was a shortage of oxygen but instead of believing them, they were making fun of them. We saw later what the result was,” Sisodia said.
Thermal power plants have been witnessing a shortage of coal for the past few days. While the national average of coal availability in power plants is four days, it is one day in several power plants supplying to Delhi, including NTPC Dadri I and Jhajjar.
Sisodia said a coal crisis will quickly turn into an electricity crisis, which will hit all industries.
“The Centre’s policy of shutting their eyes to problems is wrong. If the Centre does not acknowledge the crisis, we will be in trouble and will have a crisis across industries. States such as Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi are all saying there is a crisis, states are planning power cuts, but the Centre doesn’t want to admit there is a problem… Governments can work well in cooperation, not confrontation,” he said.
The power ministry, meanwhile, warned DISCOMs that action will be taken against them if they resort to load shedding despite being power available as per power purchase agreements.
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