Unnecessary panic

Union Power Minister R K Singh
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Union Power Minister R K Singh

Highlights

Centre rubbishes claims of coal shortage, looming power crisis

New Delhi: Union Power Minister R K Singh on Sunday clarified that there was nopower shortage and assured that coal supply will be maintained going forward.

Addressing a press conference on the purported coal shortage crisis, Singh said he chaired a meeting with BSES officials, the NTPC and the power ministry earlier in the day and confirmed that there was no problem related to supply and demand channels that could pose a power crisis.

The minister said the country is four days ahead of the average requirement of coal per day and an "unnecessary panic" was being created over the issue.

Asked about Congress leaders tweeting about coal shortages, Singh said, "The Congress party has run out of ideas. We have an adequate power supply."

"Delhi LG spoke to me earlier about a letter written by Delhi CM regarding possible power supply disruption. I communicated to him that our officials are monitoring the situation and no such issue would arise," he said.

Singh explained that the panic over possible power shortage started because the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) sent a message to Delhi Discoms about stopping gas supply because their contract is ending.

"I have asked the GAIL CMD to continue supplying the required amount of gas to power stations across the country. He has assured me that the supplies will continue. Neither was there any shortage of gas in the past, nor will it happen in the future," he said.

"I have also stated that the necessary PPAs should be maintained and there should be no shortage of power supply. I have also warned Tata power over the alleged message sent to consumers regarding a possible disruption of power," the Power minister added.

According to the Central Electricity Authority of India data, the country is facing an unprecedented shortage of coal stocks in thermal plants which could lead to a power crisis. On October 5, out of 135 thermal plants that use coal for power generation, 106 or nearly 80 per cent are either in the critical or supercritical stage, ie, they have stocks only for the next 6-7 days.

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