Delhi coal-stocks can supply power for 1.5 days only: Jain
The capital is staring at a debilitating crisis, Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain has warned. Writing an urgent letter to Union Power Minister RK Singh, Jain said the current stock of 90,000 MT could meet requirements of only 1.5 days. "Normally, stock of at least 15 days is required to be maintained," he wrote, blaming "non-availability of transportation rakes with Railways" for the situation.
Delhi gets 80% of its power from the three coal-fired plants in the city at Badarpur, Dadri and Jhajjar, all run by NTPC. These three plants usually generate 2,325MW on a daily basis. However, owing to a spike in demand, the plants are churning out 1,355MW daily, reporting a shortfall of 970MW. Earlier, Jain had blamed the Railways and Coal Ministry, both run by Piyush Goyal.
For some time, NTPC had shut the Badarpur units based on the demand for power projected by the state government. One of the Dadri units had meanwhile been taken up for maintenance. As they started power generation all of a sudden amid increased demand, they were overloaded. To help the situation, Coal India and Railways rushed supplies to these two plants.
As the crisis intensified, a blame game erupted. Jain said he had written to Goyal mid-May, but hadn't received any reply till end of May. However, a railway official denied it, saying the Union Minister has already issued instructions to improve "the turnaround time of rakes by better scheduling of trains." Coal India also pointed out the Delhi government should have planned the exigency better.
Jain has now written to RK Singh, warning him about the "extremely critical" situation and claiming the current stock is depleting fast. He requested Singh to "personally intervene" and raise the matter with the Railways so that rakes are arranged on priority basis. If the problem isn't resolved soon, there would be blackouts, and many areas would start facing regular load shedding, he added.
Meanwhile, the depleted coal supply is also stinging discoms, who're having to make other arrangements. Officials of all three discoms- Tata Power, BSES Rajdhani Power and BSES Yamuna Power- said they're being forced to procure power through "alternate arrangements like bilaterals and exchanges with other states." The 'alternate arrangements' are very expensive, costing Rs. 10 per unit, with no respite in sight, sighed officials.