Delhi might be heading to an acute power shortage as the coal stock of some power stations in the national capital region have reportedly fallen to an alarming level.
Three days after raising the alarm over the alleged “coal shortage”, Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain has said that the situation has “worsened”.
“These power plants now have coal stocks that can run the plant to its full capacity only for 20-21 hours. Ideally, in a single day, these plants have 56,000 tonnes of coal and the stock lasts about 13-15 days. Now, only about 5% of it is left,” Jain told reporters.
Warning of a “blackout” in Delhi, Jain said on Friday that thermal power stations in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri and Jhajjar and in Delhi’s Badarpur are not generating enough electricity because of shortage of coal.
A spokesperson for NTPC Limited, which runs the plants at Dadri and Jhajjar, admitted there was coal shortage, but said some stocks had started coming in.
In a release on Saturday, the Coal India Limited said that it had rushed coal to these plants, but also said Delhi should have planned better.
“The crisis could have been averted had Delhi government placed a proper power demand with NTPC with sufficient advance notice,” the CIL release said.
Jain had on Friday said that the coal stock at some power stations in the national capital region has dipped to an "alarming" level and if it is not replenished at the earliest, Delhi could be staring at "black-out" situations.
Jain slammed Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal for the shortage and said he had written to Goyal on May 17 but the latter had not responded.
Following the development, Indian Railways said it drawn up an action plan to increase supply of coal to power plants in northern India, including Dadri, in view of shortage of coal stock.
Delhi’s daily allocation from the three coal-based power plants is 2,325 MW, but at present, it is getting only 1,355 MW, according to government data. To add to the problem, two main lines which supply power to Delhi from the national grid are also temporarily shut, officials said.