45 power plants in the country have a coal stock of less than seven days and the power supply position between April and June during peak demand fell short by 5,295 MW, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.
Government also said coal-based generation capacity has increased by 46 per cent — from 77,649 MW as on March 31, 2009 to 1,13,280 MW as on March 31, 2014.
But, the corresponding domestic coal supply increased from 342.6 million tonne during 2008-09 to 419.6 MT during 2013-14 — an increase of only 22.5 per cent, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said.
Responding to supplementaries, Goyal urged members to help the Centre mine coal in their respective states with support of locals so that power supply can be improved.
He said the state governments should ensure that land issues are settled so that railway tracks are laid to transport coal to power stations.
The minister said “corrective” action is being taken by the government to improve coal supply, including efforts by Coal India Ltd to enhance production of domestic coal beyond current year’s targets.
Power utilities have been advised to use imported coal wherever necessary.
According to data provided by Power Ministry, during the peak demand period of April to June this year, there was an all-India deficit of 5,295 MW of power.
To a suggestion that Gujarat be allowed to lift coal from western coalfields, he said as power stations in the state came up late, it was alloted Mahanadi Coal Ltd for coal supply.
Goyal said a committee has been set up for rationalisation of coal links to work out “ideal” nearest coalfields and the government will rationalise the supply.
He said the government wants to accelerate power generation during the 12th Plan with a proposed target of 88,537 MW from conventional sources sand 30,000 MW from renewable energy sources.