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Ministry of Power lists out 4 reasons for depletion of coal stocks amid power crisis warning

The huge coal shortage affecting power plants will be handled in the next few days, the Centre said adding that the shortage is due to a hike in global coal prices.

Ministry of Power lists out 4 reasons for depletion of coal stocks amid power crisis warning-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Oct 10, 2021, 12:56 PM IST
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The Union Ministry of Power has listed four reasons for the depletion of coal stocks including an unprecedented increase in demand for electricity due to the revival of the economy, after Chief Ministers of Delhi, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh flagged the issue of shortage of coal at power plants.

The huge coal shortage affecting power plants will be handled in the next few days, the Centre said adding that the shortage is due to a hike in global coal prices.

As per the release by the Ministry of Power, an unprecedented increase in demand for electricity due to the revival of the economy is also one of the reasons for the crisis. The ministry also added that inter-Ministerial sub-group led by the Ministry of Coal has been monitoring the coal stock situation twice a week.

"There are four reasons for the depletion of coal stocks at the power plant end unprecedented increase in demand for electricity due to the revival of the economy; heavy rains in coal mine areas during September 2021 thereby adversely affecting the coal production as well as despatch of coal from mines; increase in prices of imported coal to unprecedented high level leading to a substantial reduction in power generation from imported coal-based power plants leading to more dependence on domestic coal; non-building of adequate coal stocks before the onset of Monsoon," read the release.

Also read: Delhi: Power crisis looms large as blackout warning issued for city

Several states, including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu, have raised concerns over blackouts.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal through a letter also sought PM Narendra Modi’s intervention and warned that the national capital "could face a blackout" in the next two days if coal supplies to power plants do not improve.

The Power Ministry pointed out that a surge in the revival of the economy after the second wave of Covid led to an unprecedented increase in demand and consumption of electricity. "The daily consumption of electricity has crossed beyond 4 billion units per day and 65 per cent to 70 per cent of the demand is being met by coal-fired power generation only, thereby increasing dependence on coal," it said.

Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said that heavy rainfall in the country this year has also contributed to the coal shortage. "If you compare with the past many years, coal production and dispatch have been the highest in September and especially in October. In another three to four days, things will be alright," Mr Joshi was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

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