Today, amid reports of the ongoing shortage of coal supply to power plants, Union Home Minister Amit Shah conducted a meeting with his cabinet colleagues RK Singh and Pralhad Joshi. For the past few days, there have been reports of a possible power crisis.
In the meeting, RK Singh who holds the power ministry, and Joshi, who is the coal minister, discussed in detail the availability of coal to the power plant. Reportedly, top officials from the power and coal ministries as well as those from NTPC were also present in the meeting.
Several CMs have drafted a letter to PM Modi informing him about the crisis. Delhi CM Kejriwal has assured to work together and improve the situation. Similarly, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar also flagged the issue of probable coal shortage. “It is true there is a problem. But the supply is affected now. There are some reasons due to which such a situation has arisen,” Kumar added.
Back on October 8, 2021, the power consumption of 3,900 MU was the highest this month. This also turned out to be a cause of concern during the ongoing coal shortage. The data showed that the peak power demand met or the highest electricity supply in day touched 172.41 GW on October 8.
This was the fallout of coal shortage at power plants in a year when the country produced record coal, but rains hit movement of the fuel from mines to power generation units, impacting electricity production in several states, including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, power plants that used imported coal to generate electricity, have either curtailed generation or completely stopped.
According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data, coal stocks at power plants on October 7 were not adequate as 16 plants with a cumulative capacity of 16,880MW had the dry fuel for zero days. As many as 30 plants with 37,345MW capacity had coal for just one day and 18 plants with 23,450MW capacity had coal for two days as of October 7.
However, the Ministry of Coal and Coal Indian Limited (CIL) has 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. This will help in a gradual build-up of coal stocks at power plants soon.