08 December Wednesday

Country Heads For Blackout; Coal Crisis Worsens; Load-shedding in Punjab ; 14 Plants Shuttered In U. P.

CorrespondentUpdated: Monday Oct 11, 2021

New Delhi : Most states are plunging into darkness following shortage of coal supplies at their utilities. Worst-hit are Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where the governments informed  power-cuts would become inevitable. The states urged centre to prioritise resolving the coal crisis to which, the centre has assured of  remedy in three to four days time.

Up north, 70 percent of the electricity is produced by coal-fired plants.     Thermal power plants normally stock coal for up to 15 – 30 days. However, remaining in stock now is fuel for just another two or three days,  Tata Power Distribution Ltd(TPDL) has forewarned residents  unannounced outages in the city.  For want of fuel, 14 power plants have shuttered operations in Uttar Pradesh. With five plants now shuttered, Punjab has  commenced load shedding on  alternative days.  Rajasthan has power outages for an hour daily.

Authorities in Tamil Nadu have warned of likely load-shedding in coming days.  Coal reserve has depleted for just two days more at Power Generation Corporation in Andhra Pradesh that produces 45 percent of the state’s electricity.

Governments lay out four reasons for the current crisis. Power consumption has shot up during Covid  owing to greater  indoor confinement. Heavy downpours in September hampered mining operations at coal fields. Also, owing to increase in costs of imported coal, the plants have lowered production and  there was no stacking of additional coal in anticipation of  rains.

No Power Crisis, Insists Centre
There is no power crisis; there is unnecessary anxiety being thrown around, said Union Minister for Power, Raj Kumar Singh. Coal reserve for four days remains. BSES, Tata Power and GAIL – the companies that forewarned  power outages – have been issued warning, the minister said.

The Delhi Deputy CM, Manish Sisodia, slammed Union Minister’s assurance dubbing it as irresponsible statement. He reminded similar stance of the Centre on Oxygen shortage earlier.