Coal shortage crisis seems to be deepening in the national capital. Satyendra Jain, Power Minister, has warned on Saturday after a meeting with the representatives of power distribution companies that there is only one day stock of coal left in the thermal power station from where Delhi gets electricity.
Speaking to ANI, Jain said, “After two days, there will be a complete blackout in the whole of Delhi, if we do not receive more power supply from the Centre.”
The warning came after the Delhi Power Minister held a meeting with the representatives of power distribution companies (discoms) to discuss the “power crisis”. He said, “there is an acute shortage of coal in coal-fired power plants across the country, even when production plants aren’t running at full capacity. There is only one day’s stock left in the plants from which Delhi gets electricity, there is no coal at all. We have a Power Purchase Agreement where they’re giving us half of the electricity. We’ve come to point of rationing.”
However, he hinted at a possibility of politics in the matter. “It appears to be a man-made crisis similar to the oxygen crisis. We have 3.5 times more production capacity than what we require and still, we aren’t able to produce power,” he said.
Appealing to the Centre to transport coal to the national capital, the Delhi Power Minister said, “There is an appeal to the central government to transport coal soon using railway wagons.” In order to resolve the power crisis in Delhi, Jain said that the government is even ready to buy expensive electricity at present.
He further informed that all the plants are already running on only 55% capacity, instead of the full 3.4 lakh megawatt (MW) capacity. “Today, only 1 lakh MW demand is left instead of 3.4 MW demand, but still, the power plants are not able to meet this demand,” he said.
“We have a 1300 MW plant in Bawana, which runs on gas, where the gas supply was stopped yesterday. And the national capital does not have any coal plant of its own. Only three small plants are there which produce gas,” he said.
Further, Jain called this power crisis a ‘man-made crisis’. “It seems that this power crisis is a man-made crisis, just like oxygen-crisis took place during the second wave of COVID-19 was also man-made,” he said.
Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also warned that Delhi could face a power crisis. “I am personally keeping a close watch over the situation. We are trying our best to avoid it,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.
He also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming that there is a coal shortage situation that has affected the power generation plants supplying power to national capital territory and requested him to intervene in the matter. “I draw your attention to the prevailing coal shortage situation that is continuing since August/September 21 for the third month in a row, which has affected the power generation from the major Central Generating plans supplying power to NCT of Delhi,” said the letter.
The letter also mentioned that with the coal stock situation depleting in power generating stations, the dependence on gas stations supplying the power to Delhi increases. But, even the gas station supplying power to Delhi does not have adequate APM gas to run at full capacity, Kejriwal said. “If the situation continues, it would severely impact the power supply situation in Delhi,” the Chief Minister said in the letter.