Union Power Minister R K Singh on Sunday clarified that there was no power shortage in Delhi and assured that coal supply will be maintained going forwards.
Addressing a press conference on the purported coal shortage crisis, R K Singh said he chaired a meeting with BSES officials, the NTPC and 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.
R K 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.
The minister said he warned Tata Power of action if they send baseless messages of power shortage to the customers.
“In effect, neither there was, nor there is any crisis. It was created unnecessarily. I’ve warned Tata Power CEO of action if they send baseless SMSs to customers that can create panic. Messages by GAIL and Tata Power qualify as acts of irresponsible behavior,” Union Minister was quoted as saying by ANI.
Threatened with blackouts amid an acute shortage of coal for power generation, Punjab has raised an alarm saying less than two days worth of stocks are left. Tata Power Delhi Distribution, which supplies power to north and northwest Delhi asked citizens to use electricity “judiciously” citing fast-depleting stocks of coal resources.
Asked about Congress leaders tweeting about coal shortages, Singh said, “The Congress party has run out of ideas. We have adequate power supply.”
According to Central Electricity Authority of India data, the country is facing an unprecedented shortage of coal stocks across 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 critical or super critical stage, i.e. they have stocks only for the next 6-7 days.
Apart from the surge in demand and the supply shortage post-monsoon, the coal crisis has been spurred by the deficient stock build-up in April-June 2021, and the sharp fall in imports due to high international prices of coal. Normally too, all-India electricity peak demand is recorded in October, which typically follows a monsoon-impacted mining output trough.