Punjab is once again heading towards major power outage with its thermal plants heading to deficiency of coal in wake of its inadequate supply against the agreements with various subsidiaries of the Coal India Ltd (CIL), state officials said on Sunday. Most of the plants have been left with fossil fuel storage for one or two days and because of this, they are operating at a minimal capacity. To overcome the coal shortage, power cuts have been imposed across the state, ranging from three to four hours daily.
Chief Minister Charanjit Channi has asked the Central government to immediately enhance the state's coal supply as per quota to tide over the power crisis with the impending shutdown of its thermal plants.
Reviewing the power situation amid the shortage of coal supply on Saturday, the Chief Minister said all thermal plants are unable to generate full capacity of power due to insufficient coal receipt.
However, he reiterated his government's firm commitment to give power supply for irrigation of paddy crops. He, however, said power cuts on domestic consumers in cities and villages are being imposed to ensure sufficient supply to the agriculture sector as well as to maintain grid discipline.
Earlier, Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd Chairman-cum-Managing Director A. Venu Prasad apprised the Chief Minister that the thermal plants throughout the country are reeling under coal shortages and coal supplies crisis.
Within the state, Independent Power Producer (IPP) plants are left with less than two days of coal i.e. Nabha Power Ltd (1.9 days), Talwandi Sabo Power Project (1.3 days), GVK (0.6) days and it is on a decreasing trend as coal supply by Coal India Ltd. is not as per requirements.
PSPCL plants i.e. Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Power Plant and Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant also have just two days of coal stock reduction.
Coal to all these plants is supplied by various Coal India subsidiaries as per fuel supply agreements of these plants with them but presently receipt is much below the required level.
Last year the state's thermal plants faced deficiency of coal in wake of non-plying of goods trains for over a month owing to the protest of farmers.
(With inputs from IANS)