Amid coal shortage, Delhi Metro, hospitals may face power disruptions
Several states are reeling under a power crisis due to a coal shortage. With Delhi being among the victims, the AAP government warned of disruptions in electricity supply to several crucial services, including hospitals and Metro trains. "Due to disruption of power supply from Dadri-II and Unchahar power stations, there may be a problem in 24-hour power supply to many essential institutions," it said.
- The power supply disruption warning adds to the woes of the national capital as it witnesses intense heatwave conditions with mercury soaring up to 45°C.
- While power demand is on the rise, coal shortage fears have triggered blackouts in various parts of India.
- India's electricity shortage of 574 million units in the month of March was the worst since October 2021, Reuters reported recently.
Delhi's Power Minister Satyendar Jain recently held an emergency meeting to assess the crisis situation. According to reports, he has written to the Centre requesting adequate coal availability to power stations to avoid electricity shortage in the national union territory. Jain stated that the situation was being monitored closely and assured of the government making all possible efforts to ensure people don't face outages.
As per officials, Delhi's peak power demand this year is likely to breach 8,200 megawatts (MW) as against 7,323MW in 2021. Jain said 25-30% of Delhi's electricity demand is being met through Dadri-II and Unchahar power stations. These stations play a crucial role in supplying uninterrupted power supply to hospitals and the Delhi Metro. However, they are witnessing a shortage of coal this year.
To meet Delhi's power demand, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) established the Dadri-II and Jhajjar (Aravali) power stations. The Dadri-II, Unchahar, Kahalgaon, Farakka, and Jhajjar power stations supply 1,751MW of electricity per day to Delhi. While the Dadri-II station supplies a maximum of 728MW, the Unchahar supplies 100MW. The government said very little stock of coal is left at these crucial power plants.
The heatwave swathing across India has increased the power demand triggering blackouts. The National Power Portal—in its daily coal report—said all aforementioned power plants supplying electricity to Delhi are facing a coal shortage. All India Power Engineers Federation has also expressed concern over the power crisis. Meanwhile, the Centre has asked states to increase imports for the next three years and build up inventories.