Delhi staring at blackouts if coal supply not restored soon
Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain today said there could be a blackout in the national capital in the next two days if coal supplies to power plants are not improved. His government has urged the Centre to quickly arrange the required coal. Delhi joins several other states, including Tamil Nadu that have raised concerns over the shortage of coal at power plants.
Jain alleged the coal crisis appeared to be man-made. "Just as the crisis of medical oxygen supply during the COVID-19 second wave." "There is politics going on. If you create a crisis, it will seem that some great work has been done by solving it," the Minister said. The capital city has a 1,300 megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant in Bawana.
"All three companies in Delhi are distributors and not power producers. We depend on the Centre's plants. If the supply does not come, then after two days there will be a blackout in the whole of Delhi," Jain said. He requested the central government to arrange railway wagons so that coal can be transported to the power plants.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also raised similar concerns, saying he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the same. "Delhi could face a power crisis. I am personally keeping a close watch over the situation. We are trying our best to avoid it. In the meanwhile, I wrote a letter to Hon'ble PM seeking his personal intervention," he tweeted today.
More than half of India's 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days, according to data from the central grid operator analyzed by Reuters news agency. Nearly 70% of the country's electricity is supplied by these plants. Just in the first week of October, India's power supply deficit amounted to 11.2% of the country's total shortage through the year.
Besides Delhi, several states are dealing with power cuts due to coal shortage at plants. Punjab implemented a power cut of 3-4 hours today as five of its plants remained shut. Rajasthan had announced on Friday that it will begin a scheduled power cut for one hour daily. Other states that have been affected include Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh.