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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Amid concern over ‘electricity crisis’, Shah meets Power and Coal ministers

During the hour-long meeting, the three ministers were believed to have discussed the availability of coal to power plants and the current power demands.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: October 12, 2021 2:39:10 am
Amit ShahUnion Home Minister Amit Shah (file photo)

Amid concerns over a possible electricity crisis in the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Monday held a meeting with Power Minister R K Singh and Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi. The meeting was also attended by senior bureaucrats of the two ministries.

While officials refused to talk about whether the coal shortage, which is raising concerns regarding a power crisis, was discussed, sources said the issue was a part of the talks .

Several states have warned of a possible power crisis due to the shortage of coal supply to plants.

According to data, even as the coal shortage continues, the power consumption of 3,900 MU (million units) on October 8 was the highest this month so far (from October 1 to 9). On Saturday, Tata Power arm Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, which operates in North and Northwest Delhi, had sent phone messages to its consumers saying, “Due to limited coal availability in generation plants across the north, power supply scenario between 2-6 pm is at a critical level. Kindly use electricity judiciously.”

Apart from mining being low during the monsoon and extended rains, another reason for the coal shortage is plants cutting back coal imports due to high international prices.

In a statement, the Ministry of Power Saturday said, “It was noted that on 7th October, 2021, total dispatch of coal by Coal India limited (CIL) touched 1.501 MT, thereby reducing the gap between consumption and actual supply.”

The Ministry of Coal and CIL have assured that they are making best efforts 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.

According to data, the peak power demand met or the highest electricity supply in a day from October 1 to 9 was 172.41 GW on October 8. This stood at 170.03 GW on Saturday.

The latest available data of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) show that coal stocks at power plants on October 7 were not adequate as there were 16 plants with a cumulative capacity of 16,880 MW which had the dry fuel for zero days. Besides, as many as 30 plants with 37,345 MW capacity had coal for just one day and 18 plants with 23,450 MW capacity had coal for two days as of October 7.

There were 19 plants with 29,160 MW capacity which had coal for three days and nine plants with 7,864MW capacity had coal for four days.

Six plants with 6,730 MW capacity had coal stock for five days, while 10 plants with 11,540 MW capacity had coal for six days.

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